Memory Mondays: Holiday Gift Ideas for Loved Ones with Alzheimer’s

The holidays are right around the corner, and that usually means it’s time to search for the perfect presents for your family, friends and more. When someone close to you has Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia, however, you may be stumped on the best gift to buy.

It’s best to first consider what stage of the disease your loved one is currently in as you shop for gifts, according to recommendations from the Alzheimer’s Association. A gift may be similar to what you would give your loved one prior to their diagnosis in the early stages of the disease, for example. Meanwhile, sensory stimulating gifts become more important as the disease progresses, as the stimulus may invoke some memories.

Consider this list of gift ideas for loved ones with Alzheimer’s to make your search stress-free – and to ensure everyone feels special this holiday season.

Early Stage Gift Ideas

Gift-giving during the early stages of Alzheimer’s doesn’t have to be that different than what you might have done before your loved one was diagnosed. Some ideas include:

– Activities like crossword puzzles or Sudoku

– Favorite movies and books

– CDs consisting of your loved one’s favorite tunes

– Photo albums, calendars or scrapbooks that feature memorable family occasions and family photos

– An outing to a movie, play, concert or other event with friends and family

Middle Stage Gift Ideas

As Alzheimer’s develops, think about gearing your gifts to items that help with everyday tasks, such as:

– Automatic medication dispenser

– Large-type clock displaying the date and time

– Erasable white boards

– Memory phone that stores pictures, names and contact information of family and friends

– Nightlights that come on automatically when it gets dark

Late Stage Gift Ideas

Stimulating the five senses in an effort to bring back pleasant memories is key in the late stages of Alzheimer’s, as is making life easier in general. Perhaps purchase relevant gifts like:

– Scented lotions

– Soft blankets or bathrobes in favorite colors

– Comfortable, easy-to-remove clothes

– Location device that can track your loved one if they become disoriented and wander