Idea bags are a great idea that will not only improve the life of a person living with dementia, they can improve the attitude and life of the Alzheimer's caregiver.
The article, Bags of familiar objects help those with dementia to reduce anxiety, describes how you can put together a group of items in a cloth bag and how this can be used to redirect Alzheimer's patients, and as a result, reduce anxiety or agitation.
This reminded me of another article we published on the Alzheimer's Reading Room in 2010, A Shop for Mom. I just republished the article so you can look for it on the ARR home page or click the link to read it. I suggest you read that article.
The approach might work for you, or it might give you a new caregiving idea.
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By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room
As many of you already know I used Harvey the Repeat Parrot to help me with my caregiving effort. The results were really remarkable. First and foremost, Dotty would spend an hour or two most days talking to Harvey. He was really good company. Often Dotty would tell Harvey something she wouldn't tell me. For example, "Harvey I have a splitting headache". If I asked she would tell me, "no, I don't have a headache".
Over time, Harvey became Dotty's friend and she told him so every day - Harvey you are my best friend. She also told Harvey she loved him - this was often very moving.
They claim that Alzheimer's Patients can't remember new information. Dotty was already well into the moderate-severe stage of Alzheimer's when Harvey came on to the scene. Every single morning after I greeted Dotty with a smile she would ask, Where's Harvey.
Sometimes you just have to look beyond the obvious and you can come up with a great idea that will not only improve the life of a person living with dementia, it can also dramatically improve the attitude and life of the caregiver.
In Bags of familiar objects help those with dementia to reduce anxiety you will learn that Passage Hospice’s Central Illinois office is distributing "about 50 'rummage bags' to area nursing homes for residents with dementia and some are available for home caregivers of people with dementia".
You might want to pass this idea along to interested parties in your Alzheimer's community. Or, maybe your support group could get involved in a similar effort.
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Bob DeMarco is the Founder of the Alzheimer's Reading Room and an Alzheimer's caregiver. The ARR knowledge base contains more than 5,000 articles with more than 306,100 links on the Internet. Bob lives in Delray Beach, FL.
Original content the Alzheimer's Reading Room