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Holiday gift guide for people with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers

Nov 30, 2021, 12:29 PM

Alzheimer's gift guide...

The Alzheimer's Association says there are many ways to include your loved one in the holidays while taking their disease into account. (Canva)

(Canva)

Holiday gatherings begin to feel differently when a family member and loved one is living with Alzheimer’s. That’s why the Alzheimer’s Association created a guide for thoughtful gift-giving.  The idea is to help keep the holidays a meaningful and loving time.

If you have a family member or friend experiencing Alzheimer’s or know of a caregiver that is also dealing with Alzheimer’s, this guide from The Alzheimer’s Association can help!  

Alzheimer’s gift guide – the early stages

Items to help remember things:

  • Magnetic reminder refrigerator pads
  • Post-it notes
  • Baskets or trays that can be labeled within cabinets or drawers
  • A small pocket-size diary or notebook
  • Erasable whiteboards for key rooms in the house
  • A memorable calendar featuring family photos – write in special family occasions such as birthdays and anniversaries

Items to help with everyday tasks:

  • A memory phone that can store up to eight pictures with the names and contact information of family and friends
  • Automatic medication dispenser that can help the person living with Alzheimer’s remember to take medicine
  • Nightlights that come on automatically when it gets dark
  • A clock with the date and time in large type

Items to help keep the person engaged:

  • An outing to a movie, play or concert, sporting event, museum or possibly an organized holiday shopping trip with friends and family
  • Favorite musical CDs or a CD with a compilation of favorite tunes DVD collection of favorite movies
  • Activities such as scrapbooking or other craft projects
  • Activity gifts that can give a sense of accomplishment
  • Wooden toolbox set (includes wooden tools, nails, screws, nuts and bolts)
  • Lacing beads (large wooden beads and a shoelace)
  • Magnetic spelling trays
  • Flower arranging (fake flowers, foam block and a vase or basket)
  • Plastic nuts and bolts set
  • Having your loved one help in making homemade gifts for the family (painting ornaments, decorating stockings, table setting decorations or place cards, etc.)

Alzheimer’s gift guide – middle-to-late stages

Gifts that stimulate the five senses may bring back pleasant memories:

  • Scented lotion
  • A fluffy bathrobe in a favorite color
  • A soft blanket or afghan to keep warm
  • Comfortable clothes that are easy to remove and washable, such as sweatsuits, knits, large banded socks, shoes with Velcro ties, wrinkle-free nightgowns, nightshirts or robes
  • Music – research shows that music has a positive impact on individuals with Alzheimer’s bringing them back to good times, increasing stimulation and providing an opportunity to interact with family members
  • Framed photographs or a photo collage – insert the names of the people in the photo and put in frames or in a photo album created specifically for that person
  • Enroll the person in MedicAlert, a 24-hour nationwide emergency response service for wandering and medical emergencies.
  • Soothing gifts that can help with anxiety
  • Weighted blankets
  • Weighted fidget mat
  • Handheld massage ball
  • Diffuser with lavender essential oil
  • Activity and sensory apron
  • Gelwave activity pad
  • Stuffed animal
  • Photo blanket
  • Sensory pillow or wrist cuff
  • Diffuser with lavender essential oil
  • Gifts for caregivers

The most important gift you can give a caregiver is the gift of time:

  • Self-made coupons for cleaning the house, cooking a meal, mowing the lawn or shoveling the driveway
  • Time off so a caregiver can do something to meet their needs
  • Gift cards and certificates for restaurants, laundry/dry cleaning services, lawn care services, computer/technology support, maid services, and personal pampering services such as massages and pedicures
  • Books – in addition to giving novels on the caregiver’s “must read” list, there are a number of books on caregiving

 

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Holiday gift guide for people with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers