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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...
Stock photo: 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

 

Related reading:

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