I read this bit of advice about carers dealing with agitation. This was on the Alzheimers.org site.
If the person fidgets a lot, try to give them something to occupy their hands, such as a soft toy or worry beads, or a fiddle product or ‘rummage box’ (a box containing interesting objects). They may also enjoy hands-on tasks such as folding clothes or dusting.
This is intended for later stages of Dementia, but I realised something about myself, and that is, I fidget! I’ve always done something with my hands. I cannot sit there, still! I think if I didn’t have anything to fiddle with, I would become agitated too!
My son bought me some Worry Beads, and at first, I didn’t think I would use them. Then one evening, I just picked them up. I was watching something on telly, and after a while, I realised I still had the beads in my hand and was still fiddling!
Interesting point; I wasn’t aware that I was fiddling, so something internally, in my brain, was carrying out this function.
I was always fascinated by my Mum when she was knitting. She knitted fast, I mean ridiculous speeds, but she could do this as in autopilot and could continue with a conversation, plan and watch telly all at the same time. I say autopilot, but the brain must have been doing a hell of a lot of work up there!
Many people seem to do crosswords, sudoku, jigsaws and an array of other things. They obviously require a lot of concentration, but at the same time, they are in the now and aware of everything else. It seems that the mind is in two states and functions brilliantly in both. Is this a souped-up version of fiddling?
Is it a necessity of my brain to have something to do?
Is it a necessity of everyone’s brain to fiddle?
However, more than fiddle, I scribble. I have a pad on my lap and a big fat pencil in my hand, and away it goes. I do all sorts of things; I draw between the lines, makes circles, patterns, shapes and scribble. Now I think about it; scribble doesn’t describe it correctly. What I draw seems to have some meaning, some order, some reason.
Is this again, my brain having a workout?
I can scribble while watching telly, and it doesn’t distract my attention. I seem to flit between, telly-pad, pad-telly without any abrupt pause.
The most significant benefit of scribbling is that I come up with ideas, thoughts, memories, and make quick notes that become almost a part of the scribble.
It doesn’t always work, sometimes I look back at my scribblings/notes and cannot make head or tail of them, but more often, the notes remind me, inform me, help me!
So, I think fiddling is good, but for much more than just occupying idle hands. There must be some neurological reason?
Fiddle away, scribble today… it’s much more than play!
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