Holiday gift ideas for people with AlzheimerΓÇÖs and caregivers
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 with Alzheimer’s
In 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-sized diary or notebook
- erasable white boards for key rooms in the house
- a memorable calendar featuring family photos ΓÇô write 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 AlzheimerΓÇÖs 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┬á┬á
- 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 CD with compilation of favorite tunes
- VHS/DVD collection of favorite movies
- activities such as scrapbooking or other craft projects
In the middle-to-late stages┬á
Sensory stimulation gifts.┬áStimulating the five senses may bring back pleasant memories. Give gifts such as:
- scented lotions
- a fluffy bathrobe in a favorite color
- a soft blanket or afghan to keep warm
Clothes.┬áGet comfortable, easy to remove, easily washable clothes such as:
- sweat suits
- large banded socks
- shoes with Velcro ties
- wrinkle free nightgowns, nightshirts and robes
Music.┬áResearch shows that music has a positive impact on individuals with AlzheimerΓÇÖs, bringing them back to good times, increasing stimulation and providing an opportunity to interact with family members. Buy favorite CDs or burn a CD full of musical favorites
Framed photographs or a photo collage.┬áCopy photos of family members and friends at photo centers, insert the names of the people in the photo and put in frames or in a photo album created specifically for that person.
MedicAlert┬« + Alzheimer’s Association Safe Return┬«.┬áEnroll the person in┬áMedicAlert + Safe Return, a 24-hour nationwide emergency response service for wandering and medical emergencies.
Gifts for caregivers
- The gift of time.┬áCost-effective and truly meaningful gifts are self-made coupons for cleaning the house, cooking a meal, mowing the lawn, shoveling the driveway, and giving time off so a caregiver can do something to meet their needs.
- Gift cards and certificates.┬áGive gift 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.┬áIn addition to giving novels on the caregiver’s “must read” list,┬áthere are┬áalso a number of books on caregiving such as ΓÇ£The 36-Hour DayΓÇ¥ by N.L.Mace and P.V. Rabins; ΓÇ£The Best Friends Approach to AlzheimerΓÇÖs Care” by V. Bell and D. Troxel; and ΓÇ£AlzheimerΓÇÖs: A CaregiverΓÇÖs Guide and Sourcebook,ΓÇ¥ by H. Gruetzner; and “Coach BroylesΓÇÖ Playbook for AlzheimerΓÇÖs Caregivers” by Frank Broyles.┬áAlso consider giving book on CD.
- Digital Video Recorder (DVR).┬áPurchase DVR/TiVo and year’s worth of service so the caregiver┬ácan record favorite shows or┬ásports programs he or she may not be able watch in real time due to care responsibilities.