I take care of my mom who has Alzheimer's. I feel badly that she is unable to feel useful. I try hard to think of things for her to do, but she just gets angry because she doesn't understand and becomes frustrated. I usually end up just sitting next to her all day wishing I could interact with her better. Does anyone have any suggestions?
By Patty from Palmdale, CA
I believe the link below is just the web page you need. It certainly isn't an easy task that you have taken on. God bless you and the best of luck to you.
Some female Alzheimer's patients respond to a baby doll. They will hold, rock, and play with the baby or a stuffed animal.
My mom suffered also from this horrible problem. You really need to keep her motor skills active. One way is to play ball with her. A beach ball is best. Just toss it and let her catch it and throw it back. Tell her the Dr. ordered it to keep her arms agile if she complains. Also, try to get her interested in working puzzles or coloring like you did as a child. You can tell her you will use her work for greeting cards and then really do it. It will be a great reminder of her later.
Write down whatever she remembers and talks to you about this will be important for you. A journal is going to be your life saver later on. Recipes, funny stories she tells, anything that reminds her of her past. She can roll out cookies, cut biscuits, make salads, slice tomatoes; depending on how severe it is she can do almost anything that her mind will let her and she remembers how. Just remember this; she can't help it and it gets progressively worse. If you have siblings that can help, you will need a break. It is very important you keep your health up. Take it slow. God Bless you. Pat (08/05/2010)
My ex's grandma had this terrible disease. She had her purse full of things that she would sort through over and over again. She also liked to fold laundry, again and again. Small towels worked best. She also had baby receiving blankets to fold. She would note the different textures by rubbing the towels and the blankets against her face and anyone else's faces also. She was a very sweet lady before she got this disease. So sad. Hang in there. (08/05/2010)
Dear Patty, If she is still able, and enjoys it, let her plant flowers, like petunias or small 6 pack plants. Whatever grows in Palmdale. Gardening is so relaxing to some. It gives them a sense of accomplishment. Let her water them 3-4 times a week in your area. In the heat you have that may need to be more often, early morning or early evening, so they can dry out some before night.
It might help both of you to go through her photos, read to her, look at magazines she enjoys, Birds and Blooms is nice for colorful pictures.
Be sure you take care of you in order to be there for her. May God bless you and give you strength to get through this nightmare. (08/05/2010)
My mom had Alzheimer's and would ask for me to take her to see her mom. Instead of reminding her that gramma was gone. I would tell her to get dressed and off would we go. We would stop and get an ice cream and she was like a child all happy and then ask when we were going home she was tired. She liked short rides to see nature. And she loved helping grocery shop, putting dishes away, and to watch me cook.
Small things really help. (08/10/2010)
Oh my, what sweet responses! I have tears in my eyes. Thank you all for such great ideas! And thank you for your tender feelings and prayers! (08/11/2010)
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