It is hard to shop for anyone on the holidays, not knowing what they like or need. However, shopping for a gift for a senior citizen with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia is a whole different challenge. You may not know what would be an appropriate and useful gift for a loved one, patient, or friend who has this disease or you may have a strained budget. We at Carefect Homecare Services know what you are going through and would like to help by suggesting suitable gifts for those seniors with Alzheimer’s.
If the elderly friend or family member is in the early stage of Alzheimer’s disease, it would be wise to buy them gifts that would help with everyday tasks, something that would help with their memory, or a gift that would let them be active and engage in activities. Example of gifts that can help a senior with Alzheimer’s remember is a magnetic reminder refrigerator pads, post-It notes, a small diary or notebook, dry erase white boards for the main rooms in the house, and a calendar. They could put pictures of family members on the calendar and write important events such as anniversaries and birthdays. Baskets and containers that can be labeled would help the senior organize and remember where things are around the house. They may be simple gifts, but they are good ways to help senior citizens to remember things by writing them down or making notes. Items that can help with everyday tasks could be a phone with large buttons that can store pictures of family members and their numbers, nightlights that come on automatically when it gets dark, or an automatic medicine dispenser. Activities or other things that seniors can be a part of are excellent gifts, as well, such as a shopping trip with family or a movie, scrap booking with family, and a CD of their favorite music or compilation of their favorite movies. Any fun activities with the family can remind the elder that nothing has changed even though they have fallen ill and that their family still sees them the way they use to be.
Seniors in the middle to late stages of Alzheimer’s can benefit from much simpler gifts, such as gifts that stimulate their senses and remind them of pleasant memories, comfortable clothes that can be taken off easy, or music. Scented lotions or incense, a fluffy bathrobe in their favorite color, and soft blankets can remind them of a happier time. Clothes are always a terrific holiday gift, but for a senior with Alzheimer’s they have to be comfortable and easy to remove. Sweat suits, large banded socks, nonskid shoes with Velcro ties, or a wrinkle free nightgown or nightshirt are good suggestions. Try not to give them anything with buttons. Research has shown that music usually has a positive impact on those with Alzheimer’s, bringing back good memories, increasing stimulation to the senses and providing an opportunity to interact with friends or family members. Try to buy favorite CDs or even burn a CD full of musical favorites.
Any of the items listed above would be a wonderful gift for seniors with Alzheimer’s for the holidays. They are gifts that a person suffering from Alzheimer’s can enjoy and can use. There are quite a few more that could be beneficial, also. It depends on the person and their individual needs and what is available at your local store. However, be sure to remember that the gift of your time means more than anything to a family member suffering from this disease. Whether it is your parent, grandparent, or another family member, spend time with them. It would bring back a sense of family ties and help them to know that you still care about them and love them. If you are unsure of what your senior might specifically need, seek advice from a health professional or experienced caregiver.