Holiday Gift Ideas for Your Loved One with Dementia
Finding a gift for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease can be a challenge. Does your loved one still enjoy some of their favorite activities? Do they like to reminisce about childhood, play games, or listen to music? All of these things are important to consider when buying a holiday gift for a loved one. You can use your own imagination when it comes to buying a gift, or you can consider this list of options:
-Music & Entertainment: Tapes, records, or CDs, a simple rhythm instrument like a tambourine, or even a radio.
-Books: A homemade scrapbook or photo album filled with bright, cheerful pictures, or a picture book with outdoor scenes, sports photos, etc. is something that can prompt discussions or spark joy.
-Soft stuffed animals and dolls; Alzheimer’s residents often enjoy cuddly things and baby dolls.
-Craft items: Simple craft projects are especially good for early-stage residents. There are adult activity books with stress relieving designs available at many craft stores.
-Bulletin Boards: Great for the resident’s room. Fill the bulletin board with family photos or special mementos. Encourage the resident to help change the contents of the board periodically throughout the year.
-Plants and bird feeders: Small flowering type plants to brighten your loved one’s room and give him or her something to care for, if possible. Or maintenance can help mount a bird feeder on or right outside your loved one’s window.
-Clothing: Avoid items with tailored sleeves, cuffs, small buttons, difficult hooks, or clothes that require dry cleaning. Instead, look for items that are one size larger than what your loved one normally wears so it is easier for him or her to dress themselves. Look for pull-on items or with large zipper pulls for easy changing. Choose items in the resident’s favorite colors. Consider slip-on or Velcro shoes, cardigan sweaters, bathrobes, pajamas, sweatshirts, etc.
-Calendar: With large numbers and cheerful pictures, marked with special anniversaries or meaningful dates.
-Lotions and toiletries: Scented or unscented, these can be used during bathing or for a nice hand massage during a visit.
-Holiday Decor: Decorating the resident’s room similar to the way they used to decorate their own home may bring back old memories and feelings of comfort during the holiday season.
-Other ideas: Hand mirrors, playing cards, large crayons, aftershave or perfume, and jewelry.
While these are all great ideas to consider, the best present of all may be regular visits and plenty of physical affection. Encourage family and friends to come visit whenever possible, even if the resident no longer recognizes them. Remember to always introduce your arrival when you visit using your name to help jog your loved one’s memory and focus them on the here and now. Most importantly, enjoy the quality time with your loved one!
From all of us at Kemper House, we wish you and your family a safe and healthy holiday season!
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Thank you so much for the loving care and compassion you showed to our mother and to us during her stay and death. We know, she was not the most compliant person, buy you showed her the same loving care no matter what. We were blessed to have her in your care. You are truly all angels. Thank you again!
I want to take the opportunity to thank you for the wonderful care you gave my dad the last 5 1/2 months of his life. If he couldn’t be at home with my mother, you were the next closest thing.
Thanks to the staff for your ongoing care of my Dad. Your patience, kindness and caring for Dad help my Mom and I rest easy knowing he is in good hands at all times. Thanks for everything you do for him!
Every time my family visits each week for their porch visit mom looks FABULOUS! You and your whole organization really understand what to do with the residents and I have seen an amazing change. You are a blessing to our family.
Thank you also for the very touching and beautiful memorial service and luncheon honoring Mom and Dad. It meant a lot to us to have all of you share your remembrances of them.
Marianne & family
We greatly appreciate all that you have done for my Dad and for us. Your compassion, dedication, and gentle ways were a tremendous help. No one ever said to us, “It will be okay,” instead you said “We’ll help you.”
Alzheimer’s and dementia are formidable foes and they strip the individuals stricken of all of their dignity, yet you and your staff work diligently to reinstate the dignity and you do it quite successfully.
This is to thank you and all the Kemper staff who organized the memorial service last Friday. The content was perfectly appropriate and many of the participants expressed compliments to the kitchen staff for the great luncheon.