Deciding what holiday gifts to give a person with memory loss can be challenging. Following are some tips to share with family members.
The gift of time
- A special date to share cookies and send holiday cards to others
- Attending seasonal music events
- Caroling together
A person with early-stage memory loss is often still striving to do his or her usual activities. Gifts that provide reminder systems or simplify daily tasks are useful.
- A clipboard with attached pen for notes. Attractive stick-on labels for cabinets and drawers. An erasable whiteboard for listing the day’s activities.
- A push-button wristwatch that will literally “tell the time” out loud.
- A cell phone or personal alert system with a single button to request support from anywhere in an emergency.
- An automated pill dispenser.
A person with mid- or late-stage dementia thrives with simplicity. Even when words are failing, sensory pleasures can still be enjoyed.
- Music is almost always a hit, especially from the era of your loved one’s youth.
- Easy-on and -off clothes in soft fabrics, such as sweats. Shoes with Velcro straps.
- Cozy items for staying warm. A soft throw blanket, a fleece vest, or soft scarf. Even a furry stuffed animal as something to cuddle.
- Scented skin lotions for arms and hands.
- A robo pet. These lifelike pets can purr (or bark), tilt their heads, lift a paw, open and close their eyes, and respond to voice and touch. They have proven to be remarkably soothing for people in the later stages of dementia.