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Stimulating my mums mind. - Carers UK Forum

Stimulating my mums mind.

For issues specific to caring for someone with dementia.
My mother has dementia for the past few years, and slowly is getting worse. We used to sit and have lovely conversations about things from her past, her childhood etc, but she started the topics and I would somehow just keep the conversation going, I could see how helpful this was for her and bought such lovely memories. She doesn't really have the capacity to start the conversations now and I am running out of ideas, does any one know of any type of memory magazine or some other kind of tool that we could use? Rather random question I know, but I miss seeing the glow from her memories.
On the radio they were talking to someone providing care to dementia sufferers, and mentioned that music often triggers memories. Just wondered if mum might like some Golden Oldie music for Christmas?
Another idea is a "memory book" of old photos you can start up a conversation about.
There's a website that could be useful - www.active-minds.co.uk - they sell sets of memory cards and other kits to help stimulate memories and conversation. I think they're quite expensive but the webpage gave me some ideas of things I could do myself with old photos, magazines etc. My dad watched Last of the Summer Wine till I knew them off by heart but there came a time when he was too anxious to watch even that. I found he really enjoyed listening to old music, in his case jazz. I was advised not to keep one activity going for too long, and it was good advice. I got nature dvd's and old documentaries about the 40's and 50's, and he really enjoyed those. The pace is slower and gentler. I used to feel I had to keep dad occupied all the time but eventually realised that he also needed 'down time' without too much stimulation, and that sitting quietly with him was ok too. It depends a lot on how your mum is, but I think trial and error is all you can go by. You know her best. I've been told that dementia sufferers feel happiest referring back to the time of their lives when they were active and healthy, I aimed at the period when I was a young child because my dad always said it was the best time of his life. Did your mum like cooking, knitting ??
Maybe looking at old cookbooks, knitting patterns etc. ? Good luck xx
just a p.s. - If you look on Amazon there are lots of old 'government information' type films, they were a real hit with my dad and brought back memories for him of the 1940's and 1950's. I'm sure there are ones that would be interesting for your mum xx
Thank you all for your responses. Some really great ideas, thank you.
I love the idea of a memory book. Feeling inspired.