PLEASE NOTE: Even though this blog is now dormant there are many useful, insightful posts. Scroll back from the end or forward from the beginning. Also, check out my writer's blog. Periodically I will add posts here if they provide additional information about living well with Dementia / Alzheimer's Disease.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Watching TV

Always more to learn when loving and living with Alzheimer's Disease. I continue to get supportive/  informatve e-mails from the various memory care facilities I visited before having Leiberman be our choice. The topic this one discussed, watching TV, was one which happened to me and now in hindsight I realize that Gregory's upset was his way of telling me he was having trouble following the plot of a TV series he used to love. His reaction surprised me but now I understand.

Certain types of television become harder to track and therefore enjoy as dementia progresses. An activity that should be a pleasurable way to pass time instead can become vexing.
Complicated plots may be too confusing, as earlier developments can't be remembered. Shows with quick cuts and no story line (such asAmerica's Funniest Home Videos or cooking shows) work better. 
Slow-paced documentaries or nature shows may also appeal more. 
Avoid commercials if you can, because each break in the show presents a whole new story to follow; instead use TiVo-type recordings or movies. (from
The show we began watching was the third series opener of "Downton Abby." We had watched all the previous episodes and were looking forward to the new season opener. Some fifteen minutes into the new episode Gregory became very vexed, angry, and was acting out. I turned off the TV (at least I knew to do that much) and was able to talk him down. Instead we tuned into "Big Bang Theory" and he was contented again.
I didn't realize what had happened but the lesson learned is that sometimes the person with Alzheimer's does the best they can to communicate their needs with you. One must realize that the WAY they communicating these needs may have nothing to do with the PURPOSE of their communication. It is a guessing game but if you are alert enough, you can win.
Now I have a DVD that Gregory loves to watch on the TV/DVD player in his room. It is a video of beautiful scenes of nature across the seasons, each backed with lovely, appropriate classical music. Now and then an animal enters the scene in its natural habitat. For example: a goat is climbing a mountain during winter while something from Beethoven plays.
Another type of video that not only Gregory, but it looks like every one at Lieberman loves, are the classic early musicals of the 60's and 70's: South Pacific, Flower Drum Song,  The Sound of Music, Carrousel, etc. The story line doesn't seem to matter but the individual songs are fun to watch, the people beautiful, and the story for the most part happy. I.E. NO VIOLENCE!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are always welcome. You are appreciated! If you do not have a sign-in on any of the accounts below ... use ANONYMOUS. All comments are moderated and will appear as appropriate. Thanks. Please, keep commenting!