Choosing a gift for a loved one over the age of 60 is always a challenge. But when it comes to gifts for people with Alzheimer’s disease or senile dementia, it can almost seem to be mission impossible. Perhaps you would tell yourself he/she doesn’t need the gift, can’t use it or doesn’t recognize the kind gesture. The truth is, it’s not easy to get it right.
However, as a friend or family member, you are somewhat obligated to find a gift that will appeal to him or her, no matter what stage of the disease he or she is in. To make it easier for you, here are some gift ideas you can make work for you.
Gifts for People with an Early Stage:
1. Family photo album: You can make a new photo album or recycle a forgotten one. Sit down with him to look at each photo and you’re sure to get some interesting conversations. If he or she gets confused about where a photo was taken or where it was taken, don’t worry about correcting it, just enjoy the time spent with him or her.
2. Wall clock: Choose a LED clock with large numbers that show the day of the week and date in addition to the AM/PM time. This will help you keep track of time.
3. Velcro shoes or sneakers: Although it may seem like a simple thing to tie laces, people with Alzheimer’s disease or senile dementia have difficulty remembering the correct movements and lose dexterity in their fingers. Velcro can be tightened and loosened very easily and will make you feel less frustrated.
4. Board games: While board games are great for keeping the mind sharp, people with Alzheimer’s disease have a hard time playing with complex rules. Choose very simple games that involve only scales or simple relationships such as dominoes.
5. Flower bouquets: Fresh flowers brighten any environment and stimulate the senses of people with Alzheimer’s disease. You can choose to pick a good variety from your garden or order the arrangement from a florist.
6. A wide-brimmed sun hat or mittens: Depending on where you live, enjoying the outdoors may require some accessories. A sun hat will help you see better and protect your skin from the sun. Mittens will keep you going even in colder weather.
7. Grandchildren’s drawings: All grandparents love their grandchildren’s drawings. Have the kids draw something special for their grandpa or grandma and you can stick them on the walls or closet of their room.
8. Your company: If you can’t choose any of these options, we can assure you that what your loved one will appreciate most is that you are having a good time with them. Talking or sharing a snack will be an unbeatable gift.
Gifts for People with an Intermediate Stage:
1. Simple mandalas to color: It’s time to get your parents or grandparents creative! Coloring geometric designs like mandalas is not only a nerve-calming activity but stimulates fine motor skills while holding crayons.
2. Puzzles: A classic that is always a hit. Choose ones with large pieces to make them easier to handle. As for the design, choose a theme that you like, such as animals, castles, landscapes, etc.
There you are! With those simple ideas, you can be sure to find the perfect gift for someone who has Alzheimer’s at an early or immediate stage. Do you want to know about some gifts for those with a late stage of the disease? Come back to check out the second part of our article. Until then, tell us in the comments below which close one has Alzheimer’s and how do you cope with it when interacting with him/her.