Coping Strategies

My husband is in the later stages of Alzheimer's after five years, but he can still do jigsaw puzzles, with minimal help. I think that's been as helpful as any medicine.

Puzzles are a great activity to do together

We have a collection of puzzles, many with 1000 pieces. After we did them the first time, I divided them in about 4 sections. One advantage is that we can do the same puzzles over and over and it's always like the first time! He has his favorites, but as a rule, I have to choose which one we do, as he has lost the ability to choose almost anything.

Looking at photo books is another favorite activity

He has several books of family photos, the latest I put together from Mixbook. He can spend hours looking at them. Sometimes he folds pages and writes below them. One is focused on his life, with earliest pictures that he appears in. Lately he doesn't recognize himself as himself, and he points to his pictures with "This is Ray, and this is Ray....) Often I will tell him the story behind a picture, and he listens intently and seems to remember bits and pieces. When I did this with my mom, who had dementia, she would say, "What an interesting story!"

Can you relate? Do you and your loved one with Alzheimer's enjoy puzzles? What are your favorite activities to do together?

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