Best Gifts for those with Alzheimer’s dementia
My mom was easy to please when it came to gifts. If I gave her a stack of Oreo Cookies and a glass of milk, her eyes lit up like Christmas.
I don’t know about all folks who have dementia, but most that I’ve known are very affectionate, thankful and easy to please.
My Mom had many inhibitions about affection while my brothers and I were growing up. Hence, ours was not a very affectionate home. I knew my mother loved me, but she wasn’t a person to do a lot of hugging. Something that went far back into her own family roots, I suppose. Still, we always knew she loved us.
But some time during mid-stage Alzheimer’s Mom started hugging. It was almost like some buried inhibition had finally been forgotten and she was free to show the affection that she’d always felt. She did enough hugging and cheek-kissing during those last few years to make up for any lack of affection during the previous 60 years.
So buying gifts for my Mom was easy. She was a pleasant, happy person who loved to stay active. I think personality plays a big part in buying gifts for others, and that includes those with Alzheimer’s dementia.
Mom loved watching TV. She couldn’t follow the story-line of a movie, soap opera, or even half-hour drama. But she loved game shows. She would watch CD’s from Television game shows all day long if I allowed it.
Some might think that is a lazy way to tend to someone with dementia, having them idly watch television for an hour or two. I’ve heard others say that Movie and TV shows, etc., might be too sedentary for the person with dementia. But–you didn’t know my Mom.
Other folks may not care for Television and have much more fun with Puzzles and Beads and Blocks. Almost everyone that I’ve known with dementia enjoys keeping their hands busy since the fingers have a tendency to “fidget” when not active.
Exactly the name for the quilt in their honor. Here, you can read more about The Fidget Quilt.
When Mom finally went into a Group Home with 9 other ladies, I’m telling you, those women would fight over laundry. I’m not kidding. The Group Home was a regular style home renovated to serve the needs of all these sweet ladys. It was located in a residential neighborhood near my own home. So I was able to visit whenever I had time.
In the afternoons, the staff would do laundry and bring the heaping baskets filled with towels and sheets and other linens to the Television room. An uproar ensued at this time every day. “You got towels yesterday, it’s my turn.” “No, it’s my turn.” “I don’t want those fitted sheets, I want the flat ones!” and on it would go as they argued about folding towels or anything else those baskets offered. The ladies loved folding! sheets, blankets, clothes– they loved folding.
All the older folks I’ve known have a love of music. They especially like music that was popular from their own generation. Truthfully, I can understand that. I still enjoy the 50’s rock and roll myself. Music brings happiness and joy and memories of youth.
In later stages comfort is often the most necessary item. Soft house-shoes, a fluffy warm robe, soft music, a gentle foot rub. When that time comes, comfort is every bit as important as any activity or pleasure they found in earlier times.
I hope you and your loved ones enjoy Fall and all the Holiday Season ahead. After a little forethought, you’ll know exactly what gift your loved one will enjoy most!