Holiday Gifts for People with Alzheimer’s and Their Caregivers

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(ALZHEIMER’S ASSOCIATION) Holidays can be stressful enough, but when you add in a person living with dementia, gatherings with family and friends become more complex. Finding the right gift for our loved ones can be challenging. The Alzheimer’s Association offers a caregiver holiday guide that shows how, with careful planning, family celebrations can continue to be a meaningful part of the holidays while ensuring safety, comfort, and enjoyment for everyone.

If you have a caregiver or a person with Alzheimer’s on your gift-giving list, we’ve got some suggestions to make your shopping a bit easier.

Gifts for People in the Early Stages of Alzheimer’s

Items to help remember things:

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

Gifts for People in the Middle to Late Stages of Alzheimer’s

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

  • Scented lotions
  • 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 sweat suits, 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.

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. ISI

The Alzheimer’s Association provides information, programs and services at no charge to help families living with Alzheimer’s disease. For more information, visit www.alz.org or call the free 24-hour Helpline at (800) 272-3900.

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