If you have a loved one who has Alzheimer’s, dementia, or another form of memory loss, finding new ways to experience the holidays with them is important. A question we often get asked is “Should I buy a gift for my loved one for Christmas?” and “What type of gift should I buy?”. The answer is “yes”. Gift giving can help you create a special moment with your loved one. Though they may not be able to reciprocate, the gesture is as much for you as it is for them.
Gift ideas for a loved one experiencing memory loss:
1. Give the gift of music. Playing music for a loved one experiencing Alzheimer’s, dementia or cognitive impairment can help life their mood and enhance their well-being. Create a playlist of their favorite songs, or songs that were popular during their youth, as it can help them feel happy and at ease. For those who don’t have a way of playing music, purchasing a simple Bluetooth speaker for an iPad or iPhone, or even purchasing a CD player with a special mix CD can make a great gift.
2. Give a gift that reminds them of their family. Your loved one may not remember names and relationships, but they may recognize that you are someone important to them. A simple photo book with pictures of family members with their name and relationship in very large letters can help them during visits. Ie: “Clarissa, Daughter. Max, Grandson”. To make gift giving even easier, use a photo book service that already has templates, like Shutterfly or Mixbook.
3. Give a gift that keeps your loved one comfortable. Warm socks, blankets, and wearable blankets like Snuggies, are all great gifts that provide immediate comfort. Snuggies are great for loved ones in wheelchairs or limited in mobility since they open in the back. Take an additional step and embroider your loved one’s name on the item to give it a personal touch.
4. Give yourself the gift of time & decompression after seeing your loved one during the holidays. Lastly, don’t forget about you. Oftentimes, visiting a loved one who is experiencing memory loss can be heavy. It’s wise to give yourself some time to decompress afterwards. If you are visiting your loved one with other family members, it may also be a good time to check in and get on the same page about a care plan and their increasing needs in the future. The team at Carefield Pleasanton is always available to answer your questions about memory care for your loved one, and the benefits of a community. Contact Carefield Pleasanton by calling (925) 750-8709 today.