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Topic Anything I can do to keep his mind stimulated? Go to previous topic Go to next topic Go to higher level

By Lacy On 2011.01.11 11:18
He doesn't seem interested in anything except watching TV and eating. He's capable of getting up and going to the bathroom but doesn't do it. He's incontinent and at times doesn't even know he's going.

Aside from that....I'm trying to figure something out to keep him busy. To give you an idea of the level he's at mentally, he enjoyed breaking the dog's Beggin' Strips in half and putting them into her treat container. He no longer goes on the computer. I don't believe he's capable of doing jigsaw puzzles nor does he care for doing crossword puzzles or things of that nature. He's dyslexic so reading has always been a problem for him although he still enjoys the daily newspaper. Magazines don't interest him much.

In the summer he enjoys husking sweet corn. I just start him early in the day as every task takes forever. He tends to lose interest in little tasks and I need to prod him along. I don't mind doing's finding the tasks that is a challenge for me.

And so....what I'm looking for are simple tasks that he could do to make him feel useful and in the loop of the family activities. Anyone have any suggestions? Coco can only eat just so many dog treats.....LOL

By Pearly4 On 2011.01.11 12:17
Sorting and "organizing" things is great. My mom loved folding the laundry - her JOB in the household. Never mind that half of it had to be refolded, it gave her purpose. At Christmas time we discovered straightening out the lights was a good task for her - she loved it. Later on the extension cords and such in her bedroom became something she'd work at for hours at a time -- sometimes ending up with one end plugged into the other, but they weren't knotted any longer -- and easy to re-knot when she wasn't looking. She sorted through her greeting cards for hours at a time - "organizing" them according to whatever pleased her for the day - by sex, age, relationship, whatever, it really didn't matter. She'd match envelopes to cards (sometimes) too. Sorting photos is a good one too. Silverware, socks, anything. Feminie things, maybe but she loved them.

Would he enjoy woodworking? Maybe buy the prefabricated birdhouses at the craft shop and let him sand to his heart is content? Then he could paint. There may be other things there that would appear to him if you look around a little. If he's had a little shop, sorting screws, nuts and bolts is always a possibility. Cooking? My mother loved taking the mixes (add a little water or egg) and making breads, or cookies. Takes supervision, I know.

By Pearly4 On 2011.01.11 12:21
Here's a repost -- might be something in here that will help:

Had some time at work today to think and surf a little bit. There have been recent questions about activities and I've been trying to think of some new ones for my mother also. Came up with this list -- anyone care to add for others who may join or be looking? I tried to include some that seemed more male oriented and some for all levels -- from those related to people with dementia to those not so hampered. But I left out things that required more of a group.


Supervised cooking

Movie matinee - rent a movie and make popcorn

Dominoes - sort them or play dominoes

Books on tape

Seniorcize - tapes are usually available at the library for anything from Tai Chi on to more agressive exercise, and you might want to get doctorís approval.

Mobile library or books, or library books by mail.

Name that tune or listen to tapes or music. Again, available from the library.

Manicures or facials - beauty spa time

Coupon clipping - from the paper and magazines for own use or family

Crosswords, word search or other word puzzles

Trivial pursuit games

Wii Sports!

Pets - even a goldfish in a bowl to care for and watch

Price is right game or Jeopardy - (tv shows)

Cards - if canít play anymore, try sorting by color, etc.

Gardening - build a terrarium and care for it. Rake leaves. Plant seeds indoors or out. Force bulbs for winter blooming. Sweep the patio or deck. Weed the flower bed. Water the beds and pots

Painting - anything from childrenís paint with water on up.

Prepare a make your own pizza party

Jig saw puzzles

Folding clothes



Bird watching and or feeding - Make pine cone bird feeders - Tie a string, roll in thinned peanut butter, then in bird seed. String Cheerios to hang outside for birds

Knitting, crocheting, plastic canvas art, etc.

Monopoly and other board games including Yahtzee, Pictionary, Bingo, Chess, Checkers, Scrabble - childrenís games are available

Photos - books to make, organize or simply identify family members

Recipe book making - find and organize old family recipes

Write a letter to the President (or others)

Baby visits

Sorting - all kinds of things, everywhere -- socks, papers, greeting cards, silverware, Christmas lights.

Polishing silverware

Use a lightweight carpet sweeper and/or dust.

Read the daily paper out loud

Clean drawers

Put silverware away - empty dishwasher

Fold towels

Make a family tree poster

Make homemade ice cream

Woodworking projects - Buy projects at a hobby shop and sand the wood, paint birdhouses, etc.

Cut up used paper for scratch paper

Roll yarn into a ball

Models -- from easy to more difficult

By Lacy On 2011.01.11 13:28
Oh, my gracious!!! I am overwhelmed!!! These ideas are fantastic!!! Made me think suddenly of his sock drawer!!! That'll be first on the list for sure!!!

Thank you so much for this post. I'm printing it out and putting it up on the cupoard door. We'll start this afternoon with a few of these things!

He never was much of a woodworker but the birdhouse kit sounds like fun and I know he could handle the sanding and painting. We always had birdhouses but over the years they've fallen apart. Time for new ones.

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!!!

By Pearly4 On 2011.01.11 17:29
Glad you found it helpful. Came from a number of different sites -- the Alzheimer's Association, nursing home, a web site for day care leaders. I just had more time than others to look for something when I did this over a year ago.

By susger8 On 2011.01.13 08:36
That's a terrific list!

I've been trying to think of something for my father to do. Unfortunately, along with the physical and mental problems of PD, he has lost a lot of his vision due to glaucoma and a cataract surgery that did not go well. He does listen to the TV sometimes. I wasn't sure he was taking it in, but one day we had on "Cash Cab" and he surprised me by answering a couple of the questions. I'm not sure he has the attention span any more for books on tape. He often seems to feel he should be doing something, but he can't really express what that is.


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