With a loved one suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia, the holiday season can be tough. What do you buy from someone who might not understand what you’re giving them? Here are a few gift ideas for your loved one who has a difficult condition this Christmas.
When a loved one has Alzheimer’s or dementia, he’ll often feel confused or overwhelmed. He might have trouble concentrating or keeping track of what’s going on. Not knowing what’s happening can lead to feelings of anger or depression. Giving your loved one a comforting item that he can cling to is a great way to help him feel more comfortable and less scared and confused. This item could be a soft blanket or a fluffy bathrobe. You could also give him a stuffed animal that will provide comfort.
Photo Credit: Daria Shevtsova from Pexels
Think about things you appreciate when you’re not feeling well. Chances are the same items will help your family member feel more safe and secure. When he begins to feel confused or emotional, he can turn to his new favorite blanket or bathrobe and family members can provide the item when they notice him begin to feel agitated. Making him more comfortable should be a priority of yours so this is the perfect gift this holiday season.
Tablet for Photos
Those who suffer from Alzheimer’s or dementia tend to have increased memory loss. They struggle to remember details from the past and even the names of family members. Giving your loved one a tablet for displaying photos will help remind him of the past, and when he’s having good days he will appreciate seeing his beloved family members in photographs.
Photo Credit: bruce mars from Pexels
Thestore.com offers affordable tablets that you can set up to display pictures. Your family member will most likely not have the capacity to operate the tablet himself, so set it up in a place where he can see it and make sure it’s plugged in and running by itself. Let the tablet rotate through photos for him and he can look at them when he’s able to. If you can, scan photos from his childhood and include them in the slideshow. Your other family members who are visiting will also appreciate seeing everyone in photos and knowing that your loved one with Alzheimer’s is surrounded by love at all times.
Music has incredible benefits for those who are suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. Music helps reduce stress, anxiety, depression, and agitation, all of which are very common for those with Alzheimer’s. If your loved one is struggling to communicate, listening to music is a great way to spend time together and bond without having to speak. Choose music that your loved one enjoys and that will give him joy. When playing music, make sure there are no competing noises that could overwhelm him. Play songs that you believe fit your loved one’s mood and encourage him to dance or move to the music.
Photo Credit: Elviss Railijs Bitāns from Pexels
Your family member might even be inspired to sing along to the songs you play since music memory works differently than other memory. Buy your loved one a record or CD player, or set up the tablet to also play music. If your family member currently lives in a home for those with Alzheimer’s, he might not be experiencing a lot of music or auditory stimulation. Providing music can help lift his spirits and help him engage with you.
Watching a loved one suffer from Alzheimer’s or dementia can be extremely difficult. Do what you can to help your family member feel safe and loved, and make sure you also spend time on your physical and mental health during this challenging period of your life.