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My husband is 54 and was diagnosed with AD 4 years ago. He gets bored. Need help.
TInman
Posted: Friday, July 15, 2016 8:15 PM
Joined: 4/24/2015
Posts: 2


Hi. Like I said, my husband is 54 and has AD. He is in good physical health. However, he has very little short term memory. He was a carpenter. That is what he enjoyed. With very little short term memory and almost no problem solving ability, all of those hobbies are lost. It is very heart breaking to see and feel his frustration. I/he needs suggestions. I'm at a loss and he is forever bored and depressed.
Mimi S.
Posted: Saturday, July 16, 2016 8:25 AM
Joined: 11/29/2011
Posts: 7030


OK. His carpentry skills are in his long term memory. There have to be usable parts. I probably wouldn't trust his measuring and possibly his use of the electric saw. There have to be things he can do.  (I have 2 screws that I can't get in. Wish he were nearby.)

How about in the handy-man category at a few non-profits? Do be up front about his diagnosis with staff. Possibly as a helper to another handy-man?

How about some art work with small pieces of soft lumber and nails, screws and glue?

Try some soft clay.

What exercise is he getting?  Do ask about what we on the people with dementia mean by Best Practices?

Any friends still around who can understand?  Introduce him to a putting green Who cares how many he hits?


eaglemom
Posted: Saturday, July 16, 2016 8:55 AM
Joined: 3/7/2012
Posts: 2546


Mimi makes some excellent points and suggestions. I would like to add that you could call your local ALZ Chapter and see what support group / PDW group activities they have available. It might help him just to be with others whom are in the same position that he is. (I know that without the groups & activities our chapter has available I would be in the same position that your currently in.)

eagle


alz+
Posted: Saturday, July 16, 2016 7:47 PM
Joined: 9/12/2013
Posts: 3560


He is bored. I get bored too and it makes anxiety so much worse.

I took up rock hunting. dog comes with me, I dig on dirt roads and walk in shallow water at Big Lake looking for agates. Very tiring and fresh air feels good.

Does he have any friends from when he was carpenter? They might let him help on repair of this or that. Sorting nails and screws. cleaning tools. painting inside of shed. 

bird feeding- I do this in winter, have sat at window and watched birds for hours.

a dog to walk? swimming? painting furniture or flower boxes.

might look into cbd oil to see if he gets his abilities back. 

cleaning his workshop, garage or basement. washing car, washing windows.

going into nature - to a park and feed ducks or squirrels. sitting on pier. fishing (friend can bait hook) and fun to be in boat.

Not sure how physically active he can be. can he use computer?

watching tv shows on home repair might be interesting or make him feel worse.

think nature, animals, walking, exploring - aquarium visits, sweeping, weed pulling.

things that make a him laugh. sorting anything, buttons, marbles, clothing, tools, books.

let us know what helps him...all new ideas help many other people.

Allowing him to do things without being monitored, managed, corrected - always good.

some animal shelters use volunteers, he might be able to help clean cages, walk dogs, lift heavy stuff. also some thrift stores are run by volunteers, he might like that.

depends on if being around noise/ commotion bothers him. 

I agree he has memory of working with tools, his ability to start and finish is impaired but he might get pleasure from being around his tools, let him mess with things without expecting a finished product.  If it takes me 4 hours to do something you could do in 20 minutes - so what. He might like to work to music.

would be great if someone who used to work with him would take him along on small jobs sometimes, he might be able to offer advice and be of help.

 


Paul Hornback
Posted: Tuesday, July 19, 2016 5:15 PM
Joined: 8/9/2013
Posts: 584


So sorry to hear about your husband. One of the things I do is some very small projects that require only hand tools. I fix or make small bird houses and feeders. I tinker on my workbench and take things apart that we don't need anymore. Just some things to keep me occupied when I'm not writing or speaking. I also do some gardening which brings me great joy.
It is important you find something he might still enjoy doing and will give him some purpose. I'd certainly try to connect with your local Alz chapter. There might be a support group he could get in and make some friends, do some service projects with, or even encourage others.

I also volunteer at our local food pantry where I help bag food, stock shelves, and unload trucks.

God bless, Paul


TheSteven
Posted: Wednesday, July 20, 2016 7:02 AM
Joined: 10/11/2014
Posts: 167


I am sorry to hear about your husband. There have been great suggestions so far. Another volunteer organization that your husband might help at is Habitat for Humanity projects near you where there is someone there to help supervise the non experienced people. With his experience he might be able to help less experienced volunteers.

Since he is in good health he can also go to the YMCA and try some different types of activities he might enjoy like shooting hoops, swimming, water polo, cycling classes etc. Both of these require social interaction which should be good for him if he finds some older crowd to hang with like in a pick up game of older guys.

Does he have any mercury dental fillings? After I had mine removed and started detoxification my memory and aphasia improved so that they downgraded my diagnosis from Younger Onset Alzheimer's to Mild Cognitive Impairment. I now spend some of my time driving to the senior center and shooting pool and talk to other senior players (who shoot better than me so they can teach me). I posted these links before. See http://amalgam.org/education/scientific-evidenceresearch/results-removal-amalgam-fillings/ or

http://www.fda.gov/ohrms/dockets/dailys/02/Sep02/091602/80027dde.pdf

I have more links to this type of information and videos about this in my July 4, 2015 blog entry at http://thestevenalztreatment.blogspot.com

Steven


The_Sun_Still_Rises
Posted: Wednesday, July 20, 2016 2:07 PM
Joined: 7/24/2015
Posts: 3020


First of all, I am sorry about you husband's dx. 

As for the boredom issue.  I think this all goes back at fundamental ways we perceive our lives...which is one of my irritations of the groupthink, or the consensual belief system spread around by caregivers here...that LIFE IS OVER upon diagnosis...because, like it or no...you get sucked in it...an can no help but see things this way.  But just think...for instance, when there is road construction an a road in front of us closes, do we go...oh well, I guess I have stop here...or, do we find another way around?  Just because he can no INDEPENDENTLY do his hobby...does that mean that he can no do anything?? 

What brings a human being happiness??  What kinds of things do we need feel fulfilled??? 

These are HUGE fundamental life things....that played a key piece all through our lives. 

It is also a good lesson in why no place the seat of one's happiness IN anyone else...or in achievements.  Like women who only feel ok as long as they the prettiest in room...one day will be no as pretty...then miserable. 

In order help you husband no get stuck in depression an unhappiness...you have again get present WHAT makes people, in general, happy.  Even if I could no do anything but sit there, I would find emense happiness an fulfillment watching my grandbaby play...or petting a dog, or seeing the sky...or flowers. 

I also, am the kind of person that do what I can and try find my way around any difficulties...so, I also find fulfillment in being able do something I previously did no think I could do. 

I find the disease requires supports.  But this a hard subject talk caregivers about since ANYTIME you talk about something they could do or think about differently they flip a wig (OMG we doing tooo much already - whatever).  By way of supports, I mean...you might have HELP him do his hobby.    You might be able put up signs, or step by step instructions. 

For what it is worth, I STILL use power tools...alone.  However, I do so only after going over an over their proper use...and all safety precautions.  I reherse it many times in my head.  An when I do it, I recite in my head the steps.  I never waiver from these given steps...I make that a hard fast rule.  Granted, I GET what this disease is an does...I GET my limitations...and I get how stay responsible with it.  I am also a good judge of calling when it more than I can handle. 

I think one BIG change you can make is do no assume that because he can no remember one thing...that he can no remember other things.  Or, that because he forgot lunch that he can no remember a long time trade. 

Men do, in particular, tend need feel useful...but...that doesn't mean he can no get over that. 

I also think a big thing is YOU need get you emotions in check.  Another beef I have with the group think of caregivers...who tend view this as "Oh-So-Sad"TM...because it doesn't have be.  Indeed, it only sad if you MAKE IT SO.  With disease...we become SOOOOO ingrained in what YOU feeling, that it become OUR feelings.  If you happy, excited...we get happy excited.  You smile, we smile.  We become exactly like emotional MIRRORS.   So if you no like what you husband reflecting, take a look at you self.  I am no trying be hard on you, so I hope it no come off that way...I actually think that an exciting factor this all - since bottom line is you can no change him, but you very much CAN change you self. 

There is so much do a day.  I like think caring for my mom, in the same way I think caring for my children, or caring for my dogs...or my home...IT JUST WHAT WE DO...like washing dishes.  Imagine a forum where people go whine an complain woo is me, I have wash dishes AGAIN!  This is what the caregiver forum often sounds like me.  But the REAL danger of it is this, when you allow you self go there, think like that...it can real FEEL like washing the dishes oh so horrible.  The end result, is you feel miserable.  Ever hear that saying, change you thinking an you change you life???  This holds true for better or worse. 

But when you see you care job as JUST WHAT YOU DO IN A DAY (an again, some us have easy dogs, some have more challenging dogs...we all happy with our dogs, no matter the work...I see this same metaphor)...then it no bother you as much...an it also free you up LIVE.  So often peop get their diagnosis, an everyone sits around waiting them die.  How about rather think this a clock ticking how much time you have left go on that vacay...or garden...or PLAY???  If you think, I only have a year left do FUN things my husband...you race through doing dishes, an hurry outside PLAY.  Do you see what I mean?? 

Life no over just because dx this disease.  Indeed, most often peop just die.  With Dementia an Alzheimers...we are given the BEST gift of all - TIME.  Do no squander it.  Life infinitely way more short than for their be time enough wasting feeling sorry you self.  If I ever feel sorry for my self, I hope someone (metaphorically) kick me as tell me that - life more short than that! 

Once I knew I only had so much time left, I got busy making plans. 

Maybe think of it like, if you have 100,000$ spend on whatever you want...but you have spend it now...how you going spend it???  The joy, the imaginings, the excitement.  An then ask youself...an him...just *HOW* much of it are you willing spend FEELING sad???  For me, no one red cent!!!!  I have way more other things I want an need waste if feeling sad. 

Think of time same way.  You planned the rest of you lives...children, education, jobs, moves...this no different.  PLAN, *HOW* you going spend you days??? 

As for specific ideas...I am no sure just *WHERE* he at...brain wise.  When we become more like puppy dogs, following you around...needing you help remind us how zip jacket, needing feeding help.  Then we often like "fiddling" with things.  If you have Pintrest, you might look for "toddler sensory activities"...these tend be appealing us at this stage. 

I am really fond of the "Busy Board" idea for handy men...because these are usually made with familiar items that he will like fiddling with. 

If he more able than that...walks, seeing family an friends, nature...bird watching.  Block stacking.  Tai Chi with instructors that DO the movements with you.  Swimming. 

Anyays...if you give me more specifics his abilities...I will be able give you better suggestions. 

I hope something in all this is helpful in some way.  Hang in there.

<3