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No more jigsaw puzzles for Dad
Posted: Monday, February 11, 2019 10:39 AM
Joined: 11/3/2018
Posts: 123

I like to do jigsaws and I usually have one in my puzzle caddy at any given time and the caddy is usually open on an unused table somewhere in the house. Recently, while I was at work, Dad's speech therapist saw the open puzzle caddy and suggested to Dad that he try to solve one because that uses a lot of the brain.

Sounds great in theory, but it didn't work out so well. I got home and Dad had taken every piece out of the box and spread it out all over the table then he proceeded to put pieces together of similar color that kinda sorta fit but didn't really. I had to spend maybe fifteen minutes pulling apart pieces that had been squashed together and bent in order to make them fit together.

So this means no more open puzzle caddy on the table. I've now closed it and slid it under the sofa for later.

Just another disheartening moment in dealing with this terrible condition of his.

Posted: Monday, February 11, 2019 11:08 AM
Joined: 12/24/2016
Posts: 202

Hi mrgladd, it is hard when your LO can no longer do something that they once loved to do. 

My mom loved to do puzzles as well. She would do amazingly complex ones and that was one of our favorite things to give her as a gift. About 2 years ago when she was still doing pretty well, I pulled out a puzzle for us to do and she quickly got angry with me and refused to do it. I realized then that she simply could not do it. So sad. 

But, I modified my expectations and have found really simple 12 piece puzzles at the dollar store for her to do. She enjoyed those for about a year. But, I am certain now that she can no longer do those and I have not brought her any because I think it would just upset her. 

Posted: Monday, February 11, 2019 11:23 AM
Joined: 3/8/2018
Posts: 769

It’s hard seeing changes with something they were so engaged in. When mom stopped “reading” her talking books, it was another bit of fading away

Can you still leave out the puzzles? While he may not be able to re-create the picture, he’s matching colors, and that’s still a good activity.

Posted: Monday, February 11, 2019 1:22 PM
Joined: 10/25/2018
Posts: 238

At least he didn't eat the pieces. I saw one of the ladies at the memory care stuffing them in like they were potato chips.
Posted: Monday, February 11, 2019 1:58 PM
Joined: 1/28/2019
Posts: 23


It may sounds awful, but sometimes you just have to giggle at things like this. My mom and I bought a squishy banana for my grandma to exercise her hand muscles and play with, but she kept trying to put it in her fridge for later. LOL. 

Posted: Monday, February 11, 2019 2:05 PM
Joined: 1/28/2019
Posts: 23


Maybe consider much smaller puzzles? (like Deanna_M stated, dollar store is the best place for these) Or consider printing your own puzzle of a picture that your LO can recognize and know where the pieces go. Large pieces may be easier to handle and see the ends/how they fit together. 

Finding alternative mind-stimulating activities is a good idea too if the puzzles don't work out. Good luck, and take care.

Rescue mom
Posted: Monday, February 11, 2019 2:13 PM
Joined: 10/12/2018
Posts: 809

So, he messed up a puzzle that you liked to do.  He sort-of played with it, and messed it up, but —this could be good—it occupied him for a few minutes (?). Now you know to hide your good ones.

Meanwhile, maybe you could buy some old used puzzles at goodwill or dollar store, and he could distract himself with those. No matter if he messed it up, he could organize pieces by color, or bend it, whatever. Something to keep him busy for a minute or two and no matter if he destroys it.

My fam with AD did much the same with colored blocks. I thought that would be too “basic” but I was wrong.

But now you know you have to hide your good ones.

My DH got in the income tax file that I forgot I’d left unfixable loss, but reminder it’s like child-proofing a home. They’ll get into almost anything, and results are often not good. You have to hide things they even might get into and mess up. It’s vry unpredictable.. Fortunately they usually can’t seek things out.

Posted: Monday, February 11, 2019 2:52 PM
Joined: 12/24/2016
Posts: 202

I think that seeing my mom unable to complete a complex puzzle was one of those "punch in the gut" moments. She didn't even want to try it with me...she just got mad. And, I started mourning the loss of yet another piece of my mom.

Sometimes there are things that give me a stark reality check that my LO is declining. I know that she is, but I can recall every incident that has been a "wow" moment for me: the puzzle incident, her not recognizing her favorite song (she was a music teacher), and her using her spoon to cut a cornish game hen.

I am sure there will be more of these moments as my mom's disease progresses. 

Mimi S.
Posted: Monday, February 11, 2019 3:39 PM
Joined: 11/29/2011
Posts: 7036

Do try the on-line puzzles and be with him when he works them. He can't jam them. They are all in the correct orientation. You can choose the difficulty level.
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