The holidays are full upon us, and many people may be wondering what they can get for a loved suffering from dementia. We might wonder if their tastes have changed or if they’ll even realize we’re giving them a gift.
Below are some possible gift ideas for a person with dementia, but before shopping, keep in mind a couple of things:
- There are many different stages of dementia, so where a person is at their journey may affect what kind of gift works best for them, and
- Those who are caring for a person with dementia are best qualified to advise a person on what kind of gift to get – so it’s often best to check with that caregiver first.
Some gift suggestions for those with dementia
With that in mind, here are some gift items that many people with dementia appreciate.
- Music. Many people with dementia respond especially well to music. It may evoke memories, provide a calm and soothing presence or simply give them entertainment. Giving something music-related – a CD, an online music gift card, a device which plays music, etc. – may be greatly appreciated.
- DVDS. Movies or TV shows can be a good gift, especially if a giver knows the personal preferences (comedy, drama, musical, etc.) of the person with dementia. For those with more advanced cases of dementia, it may be difficult to follow plots; often films which have less plot but more visual appeal (such as documentaries about animals or videos that predominantly feature shots of beautiful mountains and forests, etc.) may be appreciated.
- Activity or coloring books. Books that feature puzzles, math problems or coloring pages can be an enjoyable way to pass the time. However, be sure to select a book that is at the appropriate level for the patient in order to avoid frustration.
- Gel pads. There are a range of gel pads that are created with people with dementia in mind. They provide both visual and tactile stimulation and can help a person with dementia to feel more grounded when agitation is arising.
- Aromatherapy products. It is becoming more accepted that aromatherapy can help to mitigate some of the frustrations and irritations that can afflict a person with dementia. Selecting an array of oils and/or a diffuser is an option many might consider.
The possibilities don’t end here. There are many other gift options which can help provide sensory stimulation for a patient or help to evoke memories from their past. Taking a little time to find the right gift for your loved one with dementia is worth the effort.