Sydney and I have been spending some time learning about activities to do with Jim (my father-in-law and her grandpa) who has Alzheimer’s disease. A couple of the things that is recommended to try are puzzles and coloring books. So I went and purchased a puzzle and coloring books & crayons to have on hand the next time we were with Jim.
A couple of weeks ago, I took Monika (my mother-in-law) to an appointment and Sydney stayed with Jim. She set the card table up and opened the 24 piece puzzle (15 inches x 11.2 inches). This puzzle has large pieces which works best. She asked her grandpa if he would like to help her put together a puzzle. He said “Yes, I would.” They sat down together and started working on the puzzle. Sydney said that she would make suggestions and ask questions to help him be able to fit the pieces in correctly. She said they spent about 15-20 minutes putting the puzzle together. She said he was completely absorbed in the process and seemed to enjoy it.
The next project they embarked upon was coloring. Sydney set out the coloring books and crayons and once again asked her grandpa if he would like to color with her. Once again, he said, “Yes, I would.” So for the next 30-40 minutes they sat together and colored. She said he really seemed to enjoy coloring. He outlined before he colored and then very slowly and methodically colored the picture. He stayed completely in the lines! He selected a picture of a dog to color. When Sydney held the crayons out to him and asked him what color he would like to use to color the dog he selected the brown crayon! Amazing!
After this much hard work a snack of ice-cream is a must! Jim loves ice-cream.
As you can see below, Bentley (our standard poodle) was really hoping Grandpa would share his treat with him!
As you can see, Bentley’s patience paid off and Grandpa let him lick the bowl when he was finished! Some habits are just ingrained in us. Jim always used to have a snack of ice-cream every evening. He always would let his dog lick the bowl when he was finished. So all these years later Jim automatically lets the dog lick his bowl clean. Sydney said she was watching and waiting to see if he would do this. 🙂
Sydney and I will continue to share what we learn about Alzheimer’s Disease with you. It is so important to make sure and spend quality time and do things with our loved ones suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease. As the weather warms up we are going to go on some outings. Remember, the little things do make a huge difference even if our loved ones can’t tell us they do! 🙂