One of the major problems faced by those suffering from Alzheimer's disease or any of the dementias is the periods of loneliness, boredom and frustration.

It is therefore important for both the sufferer and the carer that these “empty times” are as few and far between as possible. This not only gives the carer some respite (knowing that the person they are looking after is somewhat occupied) but also reduces the amount of time that the sufferer has trying to occupy himself in activities such as wandering.

When possible try to fill these empty times with activities that are creative, helpful and enriching but also those that are both physically and mentally rewarding.

The following few articles will give you some ideas of the things that you can do to actively do – a starting point as it were to occupy the odd moment.

Music and Films

Anything that involves music is particularly useful and easy to carry out. These may be activities that involve just listening to music and watching music videos / DVDs or musicals, to joining in and singing along to particularly older, well known songs.

It is possible to take the singing of songs further and incorporate it in to various games. These may include things such as “Name that Tune” where either a certain number of notes are played or lyrics sung and someone has to try and guess the song (and they can then complete it should they wish by singing the rest). A song title could be given that has a word missing and someone has to try to fill in the blank, or even you could try to name songs by certain artists and singers in a form of “who sung what”.

Depending on the amount of dementia or past interests activities can also include playing musical instruments especially rhythm instruments (as a side note music therapy can be very beneficial with regards to some of the behavioural problems that are often associated with dementia), dancing or even playing a role in local or nursing home shows, productions and plays – as long as the role is not to taxing or over stimulating. If you feel this may be a little too much then it is possible to just to attend various shows, plays, pantomimes etc.

Films, television and DVDs can not only be nostalgic but also useful, informative and an aid to memory retention and cognition. By watching and discussing films it is possible to open up conversation and debate but also reminisce on past personal history and events. These topics may be former occupations (first job, pay etc.), past holidays or anniversaries, significant historical events of the time, great inventions or break-throughs, war related events – such as military service or work in other related organisations.

These discussions can then lead on to asking for advice and information regarding your own work or related events (even if the advice is not used the person giving it still feels involved and of use) and the discussions can be ever growing to even include help with every day activities.

Watch out for my future articles and I will share some further ideas with you – or grab a copy of my book The Alzheimer’s Alternative to learn more.

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Steffan H. Abel D.C. has been involved in Chiropractic and healthcare research for over 20 years. He has run his own successful practice in the north of England for the last 19 years. During which time he has treated over 10,000 patients and given over 100,000 treatments. He has lectured and taught extensively in both Europe and America to students, chiropractors and medical doctors.

He has studied Hypnotherapy, N.L.P. and qualified as a Life Coach. He has also studied various Chiropractic-based treatments (gaining a M.Sc. in post graduate Clinical Chiropractic in 2003) as well as energy therapies such as Seichem and Reiki. In 2001 he became a Fellow of the College of Chiropractors and a Fellow of the Association of Osteomyology and in 2007 became a Fellow of the European Academy of Chiropractic.

In his spare time he spends between 15 and 25 hours per week researching all areas of “alternative” and allopathic healthcare in order to bring the best advice to his patients through his practice and writing and has just finished his latest book The Alzheimer's Alternative ( When not working he is to be found enjoying life with Sue, his partner, – whom he loves tremendously!

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Dr. Steffan H. Abel, the Official Guide to Alzheimers