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Gift Ideas for the Person with Alzheimer's

Posted by on 12/3/2014 to Dementia Activities

Gift Ideas for the Person with Alzheimer's

Choosing a gift for the person with dementia can be especially difficult.  Their ability to use items has likely changed.  But the joy of a gift can still be had if you consider their current needs and interests.

Artistic and Musical Gifts for Alzheimer's

Both music and art allow people with dementia to express themselves, even after dementia has progressed into later stages.  Both allow a way for the person to engage without worry if they are doing it 'right'. Gift ideas include:
  • A mini ipod with favorite musical songs loaded onto it.
  • A simple songbook that is put together.  Classic campfire and folk tunes may be enjoyed, such as "You Are My Sunshine" and "Oh Susanna"
  • The Praise and Glory song book can be enjoyed by those of the Christian faith 
  • Colored pencils and blank paper can allow for free drawing or writing of words.  Or try an adult-oriented coloring book.
  • Watercolor paints and paper are easy to clean up and use.  Drop some water into each paint slot to get it started, if the person forgets to wet the brush in between.
  • Aquapainting sheets allow painting with water only and can be re-used.

Brain Stimulation Gifts for Alzheimer's

Mental stimulation activities for the person with Alzheimer's can help with exercising the brain and preventing boredom. MindStart offers many of these type products:

Hands-on Gifts for Alzheimer's

People in the middle to later stages of dementia often enjoy things that they can hold and manipulate with their hands.  Some gift ideas include:

  • A blanket with fringes on the end to fiddle with.  The blanket can be full sized or just lap sized. You can easily make your own with a piece of fleece material with fringes cut into each of the sides.  Fleece does not fray, so no need to sew.
  • Hands-on activities such as Look and Lace lacing cards and Rainbow Bingo may be a good fit for the person.

Reminiscence Style Gifts for Alzheimer's

  • A favorite food or dessert brought in for the person can be eaten and enjoyed together, as you talk about old times and traditions.  This joy of this meal may be a more valuable gift than a typical gift item that the person will not use.
  • Sharing a photo album from the person's past can be a way to enjoy remaining long-term memories.  A digital photo frame may also be enjoyed.  A custom style memory book can remind the person about the good things of his or her life and can be used by all visitors and caregivers to reminisce together.

Consider these gift ideas when shopping for the person with Alzheimer's.  And remember that even a simple hug, handshake and smile, or even holding hands with the person, might be the best gift received.

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