Ever since my grandmother was diagnosed with dementia, I find it impossible to shop for her. Nothing I give her ever seems to make it out of its original packaging.
Do you have any advice on how to find a gift for a family member with dementia?
Angela from Holland, MI
How to Find a Holiday Gift for a Family Member With Dementia
Many caregivers struggle to find gifts for family members with dementia. After all, you want to get them something they will be able to enjoy.
It’s important to remember that those in the early stages of the disease can still enjoy many of the same gifts they did before their diagnosis. The middle and late stages of the disease are when your options become limited. Here are a few things to consider when shopping for a holiday gift for your family member with dementia.
- Keep Them Safe
Safety is often a huge concern for someone with dementia. A few gifts that can help keep family members with dementia safe include the following.
- A new chair. Those with dementia often have a difficult time getting in and out of chairs that sit too low to the ground. This can easily be solved with a chair that sits higher off the ground.
- Night lights or motion sensors. Older adults often have a harder time seeing at night. Motion sensors or night lights can improve their safety, especially if they have to get up and use the restroom in the middle of the night.
- Give Them a Sense of Purpose
Adults with dementia may feel like they’ve lost their sense of purpose. Restoring this feeling can be one of the greatest gifts of all.
One way to add meaning to their life is to give them something to take care of. This can be anything from plants to dolls and stuffed animals.
- Inspire Their Creativity
Creative projects can be tremendously beneficial for adults with dementia. These gifts can boost their self-esteem and reduce feelings of loneliness. Plus, you can enjoy them together.
Coloring books, painting supplies, and puzzles are great gifts to spark their artistic side.
- Stimulate Their Senses
Sensory gifts are excellent for adults with dementia regardless of what stage they are in. Sensory gifts include anything that stimulates one of the five senses.
A few sensory gifts that are great for adults with dementia include the following:
- Tangle toys, fidget blankets, and even toys designed for children are great for stimulating touch sensors.
- A photo album can be an excellent gift for jogging their memory.
- Music can be extremely beneficial to adults with dementia. Try loading songs from their childhood or young adulthood on to a playlist to trigger happy memories.
- Stimulate their taste buds by cooking their favorite foods.
- Scented lotions can be great for adults with dementia. Lavender scents can help them relax while more energizing smells like lemon can lift their mood.
- Give the Gift of Time
Sometimes your time is the best gift you can give a family member with dementia. This is especially true for those in the later stages of the disease. Spend time enjoying your loved one’s company this holiday season.
I hope these ideas help you find the perfect gift for your grandmother.
Many of our senior communities, including our Appledorn Assisted Living community in Holland, offer specialized care for people with dementia. Contact us to learn more about how we improve the lives of adults with dementia each day