Finding a meaningful and heartfelt holiday gift for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia may seem overwhelming. Common concerns include safety, as well as making sure the gift is appropriate based on the individual’s cognitive ability. We’ve curated a handful of creative gift ideas for adults with memory-related cognitive impairments.
VeryWell Health offers some wonderful gift ideas on their website. We’ll detail some of our favorites here. Happy gifting!
Holiday Gift Ideas for Adults with Early Stage Alzheimer’s Disease
Writing Supplies – If your loved one enjoys writing notes, a gift box with blank notecards, envelopes, and pens can be a thoughtful gift. Consider including a book of stamps and address labels to make things easier for your loved one.
Personalized Calendar – Online sites like Shutterfly will allow you to create customized calendars using photos you provide. There are several options to choose from, including wall calendars and monthly planners, that are fairly inexpensive. Before giving the calendar to your loved one, mark important dates like birthdays and anniversaries.
Personalized Photo Book – Not only is it a wonderful gift, but a photo book filled with pictures of friends and family can help soothe your loved one when they are anxious. There are numerous online sites that offer custom photo books, including Shutterfly and Mixbooks. Choose from a variety of sizes and styles, including whether the finished book has a hard or soft cover.
Gift Cards – If your loved one is still living at home, gift cards can be a practical holiday gift idea. Gift cards to your loved one’s favorite restaurant can be useful if your loved one doesn’t have the energy to cook, while a gift certificate for housekeeping or lawn maintenance service can provide some extra help around the house.
Coloring Books – Growing in popularity over the last decade, adult coloring books can be a relaxing past time for some. From abstract art to wildlife scenes, there are plenty of types to choose from. If your loved one has an artistic bent, a beautiful coloring book paired with a set of colored pencils can a wonderful gift.
Puzzles or Brain Games – If your loved one enjoys solving puzzles – there are plenty of appropriate gift ideas for individuals in the early stages of dementia. Search for jigsaw puzzles with large pieces that are easy to hold or word-search books that feature large print.
Favorite Entertainment – A few ideas to help you get started…Create a customized playlist featuring songs your loved one enjoys or give them an eReader filled with their favorite books. Film buffs might enjoy a tablet pre-loaded with digital copies of their preferred movies and TV shows.
Holiday Gift Ideas for Adults with Middle and Late Stage Alzheimer’s Disease
Cozy Lap Blanket – Seniors can have a difficult time regulating their body temperature, so dressing in layers and having blankets nearby are essential – especially in colder climates. Search for blankets that are lightweight but warm, as well as washable.
Book a Massage – If your loved one enjoys physical touch and is able to move around with minor assistance, a massage can be a fantastic gift. Massage therapy has been shown effective in reducing anxiety and relieving pain. Search for a certified massage therapist who is willing to travel to you and has experience working with older adults who have Alzheimer’s disease.
Book a Salon Appointment – Almost everyone enjoys being pampered for a few hours. Consider booking an appointment to have your loved one’s nails done or their hair styled. If your loved one is unable to travel, you can ask their hairdresser or manicurist to come to you or you can offer to do it yourself.
Comfortable Clothes – Search for items that are simple to put on and remove. For instance, cardigans and tops with buttons in the front are easier than pullovers. If buttons or zippers are tough for your loved one to manipulate, you can replace them with Velcro strips. Select pants that are loose-fitting with an elastic waistband. Slippers with good traction or supportive sneakers would be best for their feet.
Additional Lifestyle Resources
For additional lifestyle tips and resources, visit The Bristal’s blog.