I need activities to keep her amused and distracted. That is the kind of suggestions I meant. She is also autistic - diagnosed as a child, but honestly, with the dementia, the autism is less evident. Even a good book... Right now, one of the activities I use is flashcards. I SHOW her the flashcards and she tells me the answer. But, that can only last so long. I communicate with bold letters on index cards, some. I'm just running out of steam and she's such a dear, sweet thing! Sorry, details are so long!
I know you asked this question quite a while ago, and hopefully you've found some solutions. But for you and others who struggle with keeping a person with dementia engaged in life, here are a few ideas:
Household chores: Try sweeping, setting the table, and folding laundry. It's perfectly OK to get the same basket of warm, soft towels out of the dryer several times a day, and hand them to the person to fold. Quality is not the goal; just enjoy the process. Folding warm, soft baby's clothing is very meaningful to many women.
Puzzles and cards. Buy large-piece jigsaw puzzles with simple (not child-like) images. Get oversized playing cards and just lay them out to show her how to match colors, etc. These activities can be done without your hands' on help, giving you a breat to do other things.
Magazines. Try picking up a few magazines filled with full-color pictures and see if she enjoys leafing through them.
Finally, remember that we communicate with expression and touch as much as with words. Don't worry about her inability to hear you - simply smile and touch her shoulder, arm or hands as often as you can. She'll get the message!
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