Monday, September 14, 2020

Keeping Male Alzheimer's & Dementia individuals busy...


A few weeks ago I received an email from a caregiver that I have worked with in the past, she was asking me about ideas to keep her husband busy with meaningful activities. He is in the second stage of the disease, he has been diagnosed with FTD frontal temporal dementia, he is still what we call high functioning. He mainly stays at home alone for about 3 days during the week. His wife has developed a super structured schedule for him, which she reviews and goes thru with him every night and every morning.

I suggested a vegetable garden and shared with her several sources where she could refer to for ideas. Gardening is a great way to keep busy and also provides a sense of accomplishment for the individuals, particularly if it is a male that we are referring to. gardening not only has to do with planting, there is watering, raking, sweeping, digging, all of these offer a good source for subliminal physical exercise. Other ideas for males to keep busy would be cleaning (polishing) copper or silver utensils, large items, etc. In my previous job we use to have large items like bowls, various decorations made from copper, it would keep our residents busy for several hours. You may also want to try trading cards, ie baseball, football, or the players. cutting coupons, painting a fence or a medium /small pot would also be ideal for a male.

How about being in charge of the recycling, sorting the plastic, paper, and soda cans and keeping them nice and neat. Video games are not only for the young! have you checked out the various Wii games available for adults? they have a variety that might be of interest to a male patient. Sudoku, crossword puzzles, and trivia are always favorites. Travel videos, The history channel has a large selection of very interesting programs. When you are contemplating the history channel always keep in mind that the program needs to be proper as not to upset the viewer. Musicals are also a great go-to activity.

Always keep the individual's personality in mind when creating a list of possible activities to offer. Did they have hobbies in the past? ask the individual, if this is not possible ask the family members. Offer activities that leave them with a sense of satisfaction. Always be mindful of their ability to complete the task at hand. Never set them up for failure, if something doesn't work out, gently re-direct to something within their comfort zone. Be flexible, go with the flow, do not get upset if things don't work out. Having a positive attitude when presenting the activity is a must!

We are on this bumpy road together, you are not alone!
Be Prepared, Be Informed, Be Empowered.
I send you beams of virtual good vibes.