Gift ideas for loved ones living with Alzheimer's

Sunrise Senior Living  |  December 21, 2016

You may feel a little stuck when selecting a gift for a loved one  experiencing symptoms of Alzheimer's, but there are a number of items that can be helpful and enjoyable.

Certain presents can be useful for everyday life while others are soothing and comforting. Whether it's during the holiday season, for an upcoming birthday or any other event, you can use the right gift to show a loved one how much you care. 

Everyday items
As the Alzheimer's Association reported, there are small steps that can be taken to help individuals living with dementia lead a normal, happy life. Small changes around the house make daily tasks easier and can help overcome some of the challenges of memory loss.

For example, loved ones living with Alzheimer's may benefit from a notebook or diary that can contain helpful information and thoughts. Likewise, calendars, whiteboards and other items placed around the house or an apartment can be useful for jotting down key reminders. These can be helpful and also provide a sense of security and familiarity.

Other items, such as sneakers with straps or a phone with picture dialing are also beneficial. These sort of gifts help a loved one make small but useful changes to daily life that overcome the challenges that come with the earlier stages of memory loss. Importantly, they are also subtle enough to maintain a sense of normalcy. 

Comforting gifts
Aside from helpful additions around the house, familiar items also make excellent gifts. The Mayo Clinic found that this can help a loved one feel secure and at peace, and studies have found that familiar art, music and snapshots can help with memory recall. Consider framing a few favorite pictures or putting together a photo album. 

Other items less specific to memory care can still be make for excellent gifts for anyone living with dementia. Wearing comfortable clothing, for example, is an easy way to relax, while lotions or a soft blanket may also bring comfort and even evoke memories. For example, if your loved one loves the smell of roses, rose-scented hand cream would be a thoughtful idea. Gifts that are safe, easy to use and calming are the most helpful.

There can be items that directly address memory loss, as well. These include games and puzzles designed for promoting memory recall, and there's evidence that certain plants and spices like rosemary and ginger could benefit memory loss.

No matter what gift you chose, showing a loved one support and care is the most important gesture. 

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