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.
Are you caring for someone with memory loss?
As the Roanoke and Lynchburg experts in family caregiving, we at Gentle Shepherd Hospice can help. It’s a big job and a very stressful one. You don’t have to do it alone. Give us a call at 1-800-789-0586 (toll-free).