What Gifts You Can Give To Make Christmas Dementia Friendly
Christmas is a time for families and festivities, but it can also bring new challenges for people affected by Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. When it comes to finding the perfect gift for a senior with Alzheimer’s or Dementia, it is not always easy. Here are our top 5 gift suggestions to take some stress out of the shopping season:
We all love being reminded of happy memories through photographs. This visual aid can help stimulate memories for someone with Alzheimer’s. Many people living with memory loss are able to recall events from the past often with vivid detail when reminded through a photograph. Image association through photographs can play a key role in allowing those living with memory loss to reminisce about pleasant times in their lives, just as it can also enable people to engage in the present moment by helping them remember people in their lives. This can be created as personal and uniquely as you like, by creating a scrapbook theme filled with messages that are meaningful to them.
A modern-day alternative to the classic photo album is a digital photo frame. You can load up meaningful pictures into a memory stick and set the frame to automatically scroll through these photos.
The Day clock is a great every day solution to help people living with Dementia and Alzheimer’s to maintain their daily routine. It features a simple and clear display showing the time of day as either morning, afternoon, evening or night.
Results have shown that this clock helps to cut down the number of missed appointments, reduces the element of disorientation and increases feelings of independence.
Music can make a really special gift for somebody with Dementia and Alzheimer’s. Many people with Alzheimer’s or Dementia enjoy music from earlier times in their lives. A music player with a compilation of their favorites could make a very unique gift.
Research has shown that music from a person’s 20s-30s evokes the most memories when played and can help ease anxiety and spark memories for dementia patients.
If you don’t already know, some personal research can help you discover the top songs from your loved one’s past. Songs that have meaning to them such as older dance songs, songs that will remind them of holidays, music they potentially played on instruments, or songs with sentimental meaning such as wedding songs are great to include.
You could purchase a traditional recording or load their favorite music onto an iPod. Music is a beneficial gift regardless of which stage of dementia the person is experiencing.
In the same way that music from the past might bring comfort and nostalgia to those with Alzheimer’s, so might a familiar book. Try a classic novel that they might have read several times or a book that is about their profession. For example, a former nurse might enjoy paging through a magazine about the medical world. A retired mechanic might love looking at classic cars and engines.
As always, it is extremely important to keep your brain active. Some people who have early-stage dementia may enjoy doing crossword puzzles, word searches or other brain games that stretch their minds. Simple puzzles such as jigsaws can be extremely therapeutic and can be purchased in all sorts of themes and difficulty levels, making them ideal for customisation based on the functioning level of your loved one.
You can also use this as an opportunity to get thoughtful by gifting them with a personalised jigsaw made up of a special photograph!
Like most things that are much loved and often worn throughout someone’s life, there comes a time when it needs a little TLC. Re-conditioning or re-designing an important piece of jewellery is a highly symbolic and emotional way to create restored and new pieces to honour the past while living in the present.
This can make the perfect and most thoughtful gift as jewellery can hold such sentimental feelings and memories that the utmost care should be given to its preservation. Whether it’s inherited, worth a lot of money, or simply a sentimental reminder of love, this gesture is a unique way of showing you care at Christmas.
Glasgow Memory Clinic is Scotland’s only Alzheimer’s Research centre and we are dedicated to helping find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease.
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Posted 1st December 2021