November 26, 2018
If you are having a tough time coming up with holiday gifts for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or dementia, you’ll likely find this guide to be of help.
If you are struggling to come up with a holiday gift idea for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease or a similar form of dementia, know that you aren’t alone. Families want to include senior loved ones in holiday traditions like gift giving while also keeping their safety in mind.
That’s why we created this simple holiday gift guide. We hope it will help spark some ideas for a present that will bring joy to your senior family member.
Holiday Gift Ideas for Adults with Alzheimer’s and Dementia
- Music: Music has therapeutic benefits, especially for people with memory loss. It can be soothing, calming, or uplifting depending upon the type of music. As a holiday gift, you can purchase an iPod (or even an iPad) and download some of your loved one’s favorite songs. Vinyl record players are also gaining in popularity again. You could buy one along with a few vinyl records of your senior loved one’s favorite artists from youth.
- For the birds: If you are the caregiver or family member of an adult with Alzheimer’s, you may have noticed how captivated they are by birds. Whether it is watching birds build a nest, have lunch at the bird feeder, or enjoy a dip in the bird bath, research shows that people with dementia find peace and comfort in birdwatching. The National Audubon Society launched a special initiative, Bird Tales, to help educate people on the role birding can play in improving the lives of people with Alzheimer’s. Depending upon your loved one’s living situation, you can buy a bird feeder and bird food for them to enjoy. If space doesn’t allow for that, you can purchase a bird feeder that attaches directly to window glass. From the comfort of their living room, seniors can watch the birds eat.
- Comfort clothing: As Alzheimer’s disease progresses, it can cause problems with mobility, dexterity, and coordination. This makes it more difficult for people to manage personal care needs independently. You can help by purchasing clothes that are easier to get on and off. Jogging suits, shirts that zip up the front (instead of buttons), jeans with an elastic waistband, and sneakers with a Velcro closure make it easier for a senior with a physical impairment to dress on their own.
- Fidget blanket: Another holiday gift that can reduce agitation and anxiety in an adult with Alzheimer’s is a fidget blanket. These are tactile blankets that have ribbons, bows, buttons, hooks, family photos, and more attached. For an adult struggling with anxiety or agitation, having a blanket or quilt with fidget activities built in keeps their hands busy. You can find a variety of sellers on Etsy and a list of people who make fidget quilts on Alzheimer’s Support. If you are crafty and want to make one of your own, you will find instructions on the Patchwork Posse website.
We hope this guide helps you find the perfect holiday gift for your senior loved one.
The Talk: Discussing the Need for Memory Care during the Holidays
The holiday season is generally a time of year when families are reunited. It can provide you with an opportunity to talk about your senior loved one’s care needs now and in the days ahead. Memory care might be a solution that helps your loved one safely live their best quality of life.
We invite you and your family to visit the Legacy Senior Living community nearest you. Our dedicated memory care program, The Harbor, is committed to helping adults with dementia live their best quality of life at every stage of the disease. Call us today to schedule a private tour.