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Finding things to do with my grandma who is living with V.D
SamanthaW
Posted: Sunday, December 2, 2018 3:55 PM
Joined: 12/2/2018
Posts: 1


Hello fellow caregivers,
I need some advice. My grandma has recently been diagnosed with V.D. Its been a stressful time. Im finding more things wrong with her everyday because she cant tell me what's going on with her. I feel like I am failing her. Im looking for some advice on how to encourage her to talk to me as well as things you do with your loved ones to keep them stimulated. She refuses to walk around the house and wont go outside. My mom who is home with her has some trouble with her anxiety and has had a hard time taking her out.

terei
Posted: Sunday, December 2, 2018 4:27 PM
Joined: 5/16/2017
Posts: 127


I look at photo albums/photos of our family with my mom all the time.
Mimi S.
Posted: Sunday, December 2, 2018 5:32 PM
Joined: 11/29/2011
Posts: 6643


Welcome to our world Samantha. I'm so glad you found our site.

It sounds as though your Grandma may be in the middle stages of the disease.
i would suggest not asking 

 

Grandma if she wants to do something. Approach her and extend your arm. Help her up and then just begin walking. 

She needs daily physical and cognitive activities. Is there an Adult Day Care she can be enrolled in?

 

What did she used to like to do?  How can these be modified for her current state?
Sometimes some very soft clay can be used. Sit next to her. Have a ball for yourself and one for her. just sit with het and begin manipulating the clay. Encourage her to do the same. You are not looking to make a finished product.  Try the same with tempora paints and a wide brush. You may need to put a paint loaded brush in her hand and place it down on a piece of blank paper.  Keep trying. Sometimes have music she likes playing. 
I suspect it will be difficult if she has gotten used to just sitting.  

 

Good luck.

Relocated Daughter
Posted: Tuesday, December 4, 2018 12:54 AM
Joined: 7/21/2017
Posts: 105


SamanthaW - What a caring and loving granddaughter you are to want to help your grandma stay involved. "Contented involvement" is a term I learned in one of the classes I took. Getting your grandma involved in an activity that is appropriate to her level, with the outcome being less important than simply being involved.

As Mimi suggested, what did she like to do? My mom loved cooking but could no longer follow a recipe, let alone physically stand up in the kitchen. We worked at the dining room table and I would simplify the activity and have her do 1 step while telling her the direction (ie; While making pancakes, I would have her hold the measuring cup and I'd pour the milk into it. Then she would add it to the batter and mix it.)  Another activity was taking the Tupperware out of the cupboards and asking her to sort them. If your grandma liked sewing, you could ask her to sort old buttons or spools of thread. Then, encourage her to reminisce about the activity...maybe an old dress she had sewed or a favorite meal. If she can use scissors, ask her to cut out some coupons. Anything to feel useful and included. 

A book called "Creating Moments of Joy" by Jolene Brackey might also provide some helpful ideas for you. Hope you get some helpful ideas.


NC caregiver
Posted: Tuesday, December 4, 2018 6:43 AM
Joined: 2/7/2018
Posts: 660


We put bird feeders outside our window & Mom's favorite thing is sitting & watching birds & squirrels.  She literally could do this all day & loves it.  In warm weather she likes sitting outside . She loves listening to country music, so in the afternoon we turn on a Pandora station & she gets up & kind of sways to the music.   Mom does not like a lot of activity & seems to do better when we give her some quiet time where she doesn't have to talk .  Mom gets frustrated with things she used to like such as puzzles & drawing.   She does like watching funny animal videos on tv & Wheel of Fortune & American Ninja Warrior .  Also talent type shows like Little Big Shots.  We do try to get her out for a walk and/or car ride each afternoon to get out of the house for a little while . She's about stage 6 of Alzheimer's.
Stephanie Z
Posted: Wednesday, December 5, 2018 11:00 AM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 4156


Hi Samantha, Here are some ideas I put together a while ago:

 

Activities for Mid and Late Stage Dementia 

  Manipulatives- Look at the things available for babies to grasp, shake, rattle or just feel. Yes, your LO is an adult, but these things are made to stimulate and entertain.  You might try Twiddle Muffs, or Twiddle kittens and pups, (go on line to see the stores that have these, or make one for her) activity aprons, etc. 

Sensory stimulation:  put a few cotton balls in old pill containers (the kind you get from the pharmacy) put a few drops of vanilla, chocolate extract, lemon extract, etc.  or even one or two perfumes in them and let your LO sniff at them.  Try spices like oregano, basil, mint. etc.

  How about music. Try different sounds to see if your LO likes them. There are wonderful sounds in "relaxation" type music. Also try old music from the 40s and 50s.  I am an nurse who worked for years on dementia units. My residents LOVED gospel music, especially the Statler Brothers.

 

Old Time Radio Shows on CD:  

http://www.vintagelibrary.com/OldTimeRadio/  

 

Touch - a bowel of rice to run their fingers through or petals from flowers to touch and smell, Does a neighbor have a dog or cat they can pet?  Or consider getting one of the animated dogs or cats that look real.  Bring  in some snow when the weather gets colder. Let your LO experience it once again. You can think up more based on her background.

The idea of sensory stimulation is to help the person remember what things feel like or smell like. It might trigger a memory and you can gently ask and pry a bit to get your LO one to remember.  Same with the music. I had residents who could not string 3 words together, but remembered the lyrics to some of the gospels or older songs.

Try blowing some bubbles around them and see if they catch their attention enough to poke at them.

Let your LO wind yarn if they can, or sort socks and fold wash cloths.

If your LO is a female, give her a manicure and polish her nails. She might like looking at them. If not, you can remove the polish.

Give your LO seed catalogs to look through. Loads of great pictures of flowers.

If you do find something they like , don't forget that they have a memory problem. You can use the same thing over and over again.

When wandering is a problem

     Many people with dementia go through a stage when they wander. It is up to the facility or family at home, to provide a safe wandering area. It is often helpful to devote a room or area to things the person likes to rummage through or look at. Pictures, books, items to touch and take with them as they wander.

     Make sure there are no obstacles in the way of the person's wander path. Think about taking the person on walks outside, especially if a patio or backyard is available. At home, doing things like walking the dog, or even helping with tasks like raking or washing the car, help expend energy and may reduce some of the need to wander.

     Remember, wandering is a "phase". It will not last long. Keep your LO safe and keep the environment interesting.   

Hope this helps,

Stephanie

 


 
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