Top Ten Gift Ideas for Seniors with Dementia & Alzheimer’s
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 are made up of gifts that will be useful to them, and help them in their every day life. These gifts are ideas to help but also something that will be comforting at the same time.
- 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.
- 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. Days that they may be feeling lonely, this blanket can be extremely comforting for them as well.
- Stuffed animals of an old pet they may have had in the past is a nice reminder of their past. 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 favourites or simply old time classics. Get them a pair of comfy 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. 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 favourites with some newer music that may be your favourite. 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, as you won’t have to worry about them disrobing. 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:
- Whether it is a colouring book or paint, crafts can be very soothing and time consuming. This is an easy gift to personalize as well. If you know they like cats, get them a cat colouring book. A great activity for a rainy day or a day that you can’t visit them can be painting or colouring. 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 calming 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. They are great for memory care as well, giving them a soothing exercise for their brain. Look into can be a wonderful way to reconnect family, grandchildren can help grandparents complete the puzzle.
- 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 before hand so they don’t need to worry about turning pages. Load it up with pictures of friends and family, even pictures of their favourite scenery, whether that be a beach or a forest, you can add comforting images in with family photos.
- 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 to your loved one, such as directing things towards a favourite colour. This list is again something that can be helpful and useful as well as a thoughtful present that will keep your loved one with Alzheimer’s or Dementia comfortable.