Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Alzheimer's Caregiving: Quiddler and Verbal Engagement (CinchCast)

The formation of this pattern -- of doing something together -- makes it more natural when you want the person to engage in other types of activities....
By Bob DeMarco

Quiddler is a card game that more or less is a form of Scrabble played with cards. It is a great game that can be played by family and friends. It is fast paced.



You might be wondering why I have the game up here.

Simple. This could be an interesting game that Alzheimer's caregivers and patients can play together. You don't have to follow the rules. You can use the cards and make up your own rules.

Here is an example. You lay out some cards. Lets assume you pick the two letters "S and C". Next you say to the person with Alzheimer's lets think of some words that start with the letters SC.

Or, you could have a dictionary nearby and say, lets look up some words that start with S and C. As you look up the words you can have the person read the definition. You can then discuss the word.

Lets stay with the letters S and C in this example. In the audio below I'll engage Dotty.

To Dotty, let's think of some words that start with S and C.

If you don't see the Podcast panel -- go here. You are welcome to share, embed, or recommend this CinchCast.

This use of the game gives you an opportunity to engage someone with Alzheimer's and to help them exercise their brain.

It is my belief that if you get use to engaging in activities like this you will form a stronger "real" connection (bond) with the Alzheimer's patient.

As you strengthen this connection you'll find that the patient feels more secure and as a result becomes more cooperative.

This is also a path to overcoming the dreaded NO word. The more you interact with and verbally engage someone with Alzheimer's, the more likely it becomes that the Alzheimer's patient will cooperate when you want to engage in other types of activities. You are forming a pattern here.

The most important step here is that you are setting a pattern of engagement. You are doing something together and hopefully having fun. Simple fun. You might also learn something that you never knew before. Nothing wrong with an occasional pleasant surprise.

The formation of this pattern -- of doing something together -- makes it more natural when you want the person to engage in other types of activities. In our case, like going to the pool or walking on the treadmill.

I checked some of the things Dotty said in the CinchCast.

There is a school named Baldwin just a few blocks from where my mother lived in south Philadelphia (near Broad and Porter). Saint Monica's is also a few blocks away. I have to tell you I am very happy that I had this conversation with my mother.

I did have fun, I did learn something I didn't know, and I was happy that she can still spell. If you think about it, it was also interesting that the only word she could think of the started with SC was -- scared.

More About the Alzheimer's Reading Room

Bob DeMarco is the editor of the Alzheimer's Reading Room and an Alzheimer's caregiver. Bob has written more than 1,810 articles with more than 89,500 links on the Internet. Bob resides in Delray Beach, FL.

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Original content Bob DeMarco, the Alzheimer's Reading Room