If your loved one suffers from Alzheimer’s or Dementia, finding them the perfect gift can be difficult. It’s a matter of searching for a gift that will give them the most comfort at anytime.
Here is a top ten list of gift ideas for a loved one with Dementia or Alzheimer’s. These are gifts that will be useful to them, and help them in their every day life.
- Get your loved one some new comfortable clothing. If they are having difficulty with independent dressing, make it easier for them. Get them a comfy pair of elasticized pants. Another pant option could be the easy touch side opening pants. These are pants with easy touch closure on either side, to allow pants to slide on with ease.
- If your loved one is in a wheelchair with assisted dressing, open back clothing could make it easier on your loved one and their caregiver. Open back tops are designed so that shirts won’t have to be put over the head anymore. Trying to dress in the morning can be difficult with dementia and Alzheimer’s patients. These have snaps on the shoulders so they can go on by simply putting their arms through and wrapping the top around. There are open back pants as well, so one can stay in a seated or lying down position, making dressing easier on both your loved one and their Alzheimer’s or dementia caregivers.
- A weighted blanket is a tool used for those with anxiety. Having it around for the days of extreme confusion can reduce stress and keep them calm. On days that they may be feeling lonely, this blanket can be extremely comforting for them.
- Stuffed animals that resemble an old pet they may have had in the past could be a nice reminder that would make them smile. A stuffed animal can also be used as a therapeutic animal much like therapy dogs that come in. Only these ones can go around with them all the time.
- Give them the gift of music. Make them a playlist of their old time favorites or simply old time classics. Get them a pair of comfortable big headphones so they don’t have to worry about ear buds. An iPod, or a music playing device can allow them to play it when they want. Look into caregiver support groups and see if they know any calming music for dementia care. If you have some time, make different playlists to work with any mood. Are they in a long term care facility? If the answer is yes, explain to the staff which playlist is for what mood. This way if they are having anxious day, they can have a calming playlist. If your loved one loves dancing, have a dancing playlist for them to groove along to. You can mix in some of their old time favorites with some newer music that may be your favorite. This can create a better bond, and you can both enjoy the music together.
- Often in Alzheimer or dementia patients, they tend to begin disrobing or pulling at clothing. Anti-strip suits are a great way to keep their dignity while being comfortable. It also provides comfort for you, and it helps you care for the caregiver (which may be yourself). It eases the job of the nurse or caretaker as well, allowing them to be able to provide better care because they won’t have to worry about disrobing problems. These outfits come in many different colours, as well as a dignity suit as a pyjama suit. Piece this outfit together with a comfy pair of socks. Often Alzheimer patients will not want to wear shoes. But with footwear being required in long term care facilities, something on their feet is needed. A pair of slip resistant socks could be a perfect addition to this outfit. Top it off with a Santa hat for the Christmas season.
Crafts & Puzzles:
- Craft based activities can be very inspiring. This is an easy gift to personalize as well. If you know they like cats, get them a cat coloring book. A great activity for a rainy day or a day that you can’t visit them, they can indulge in such creative activities. You can also get them a memory game picture. A paint by numbers for instance can let them use their brain while still having an enjoyable and relaxing thing to do.
- Puzzles are an amazing gift idea for many reasons. If your loved one resides in a long term care, a puzzle can be a great daily activity. It’s a great way to strengthen memory and can also give them a sense of control. And when you are visiting them, it could prove to be a wonderful way to reconnect family by involving grandchildren and letting them complete the puzzle with their grandparents.
- This could be helpful to their mental state if they are getting confused with dates. Having a calendar with a marker attached to it so they (with the help of a nurse) can cross of the date so they can keep track. Putting birthdays or important dates on the calendar can be nice reminders for them.
Electronic photo frame:
- If they have lowered dexterity, flipping pages can be a struggle for them. An electronic photo frame can be a solution, loading it up with photos beforehand so they don’t need to worry about turning pages. Load it up with pictures of friends, family and pets. Including pictures of their favorite scenery could also help them think about pleasant memories.
- Are they in a wheelchair? If they are these wheelchair accessories can be a great present for them. A wheelchair blanket is great to keep them nice and warm, with a big pocket at the front that they can keep their hands warm as well.
- If they like to keep certain items with them, this wheelchair pouch could be what they need. This pouch can help them keep all their things in one place, whether it is their dentures, glasses or handkerchief, they won’t lose anything anymore.
Digital Wall Clock
- When people develop Alzheimer’s or Dementia, a constant issue is generally forgetting and confusion. Giving them a digital wall clock, with the date on it as well is a great way for them to ground themselves. It gives them a clock to look at without having the difficulty of trying to read a face clock. Reading large numbers will be easier, even for those days that their glasses go missing.
- On a budget? Making them cookies like they used to make you can be a gift from the heart. Bringing them in a Tupperware container so that they can keep left overs. You can make this as creative as you like. Decorating them, or bringing decorating items and decorate the treats with them! It can be a great way to do a fun activity with them and to give them company.
This list can always be personalized based on your loved ones preferences. Have you got a list of your own or some ideas to share? Please leave a comment and let us know!