Gifts that Make Life Easier for Alzheimer’s Patients
Ever experience a brain freeze when trying to think of the perfect gift to buy for a loved one with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease?
There’s a lot to consider: on one hand, you have to be aware of their diagnosis and what stage of dementia they are in; on the other, you want to give them something that is both meaningful and fits their interests. The more gifts engage the brain through sensory, cognitive, or physical stimulation, the better for those with dementia. And sometimes, the best gifts are those designed to make daily living simpler.
So, if you’re stumped on what to buy, never fear—we have you covered. If your loved one has a form of dementia, below are some of the most useful and meaningful gifts you can give them, organized according to the stage of their condition.
The gifts that you give your loved one if they are in the early stage of dementia can be similar to gifts you might have given them before they were diagnosed. Think about giving games and activities that reflect their interests while also exercising the brain and body.
Activity books are a great gift option to encourage someone to challenge their brain. Depending on what your loved one’s interests are, you can choose from activity books such as crossword puzzles, coloring books, or spot-the-difference games.
It can be easy for someone with Alzheimer’s or other dementia to forget phone numbers. Memory phones are programmed with pictures to make it easier to call somebody. All your loved one would have to do is press the picture of the person they are trying to call for the phone to dial the right number.
Gifts given to those in this stage should be less complicated than gifts recommended for first-stage individuals. It’s best to search for things that assist with and promote independence in daily activities, such as eating, bathing, and choosing clothing.
The more they accomplish on their own, the more empowered your loved one will be, even if conquering a simple task like tying their own shoes. Special laces like SnapLaces allow the wearer to tie their shoelaces with only one hand and are easy for anyone to use. On top of that, with its system of multiple clips and stretchy laces, SnapLaces provides the wearer with precise tension and maximum foot conformity.
MedMinder helps those with dementia to stay independent when they take medication. This pill dispenser uses both visual and auditory alerts to let users know that it’s time to take medication, and it also provides updates to caregivers. Certain models also have a feature that locks the pill tray until the next dose needs to be taken, so your loved one is safe from mistakenly taking multiple doses.
Gifts given in the later stage should comfort and stimulate the senses. It’s important to be sensitive and know that gifts that were appropriate during the earlier stages of Alzheimer’s or other dementia may not be as helpful to those in this stage.
Giving up a pet that they’re no longer able to care for can be heartbreaking for those with dementia. Memorable Pets are plush animals that can help fill that void and give your loved one a sense of purpose. Case studies conducted by Memorable Pets show that the plush pets offered a therapeutic intervention for patients with dementia. On top of that, 10 percent of regular-priced retail sales go to support Alzheimer’s care and research, supporting your loved one in yet another way.
Lake Solitude Media sells a series of nature videos that were specifically produced to entertain, soothe, and relax those with Alzheimer’s or other dementia. The videos provide visual and auditory stimulation to help your friend or family member with dementia feel calm and safe.
Gifts as Part of Treatment Routines
While there are many holidays to give your loved one a gift, you don’t need to wait for a special occasion to brighten their day. In addition to promoting skill-strengthening mental activities and daily independence, gift giving can be part of a treatment plan for someone who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or dementia. Celebrating holidays plays a key role in reality therapy routine, and receiving a gift can remind your loved one that it’s a special day and encourage them to recall past memories and celebrations that are sure to lead to smiles.