Gift-giving and receiving is enjoyed by all, whether it is during the holidays, on special occasions or just as an everyday thoughtful gesture. Choosing a gift for seniors with dementia, however, should be done carefully. The following are gifts dementia patients will welcome.
Family members and caregivers who plan to give a gift to a senior with dementia should first consider the patient’s stage of dementia. Seniors with early-stage dementia will enjoy receiving gifts that are similar to the ones they received prior to their diagnosis.
When dementia has progressed to its later stages, the senior will require gifts that stimulate the senses. Sensory stimulation helps dementia patients recover memories and encourages responsiveness. Color preferences change, too, and gifts in the right colors can produce beneficial results.
Sensory stimulation, which arouses one or more of the five senses, is important for elderly individuals living with dementia, because it evokes positive feelings. Hearing, touching, seeing, tasting or smelling objects can trigger memories and allow seniors to reconnect with the world around them.
What are gifts for seniors with early-stage dementia?
Memory phones are a helpful gift for seniors with early-stage dementia, as they may not recall phone numbers and may forget to hang up the phone. Memory phones are programmed to store the contact information of loved ones and feature photos instead of numbers.
2.Family and Friend Photo Albums
Products that display the photos of loved ones are ideal for patients with early-stage dementia. The photos of family members or friends in calendars or photo albums can trigger emotions in dementia patients. Seniors may be inspired to share their experiences.
Gifts that take seniors down memory lane include music. Singing classical hits, for instance, enhances a senior’s cognitive performance. Music evokes emotion, and, consequently, memories. Music requires no mental processing, so it is an appropriate gift for dementia patients who have lost cognitive function.
What are gifts for seniors with mid-stage dementia?
As dementia advances to the middle stage, patients will continue to benefit from mentally stimulating gifts. Big puzzles with fewer puzzle pieces are ideal for seniors’ hands and facilitate quicker assembly. Consider photo puzzles with images of favorite places so the senior is inspired to reminisce.
5.Lotions & Essential Oils
Scented lotions provide not only hydration for dry skin but a form of aromatherapy. By triggering the olfactory receptors, scents stimulate the emotional center of the brain. In patients with dementia, essential oils, for instance, boost memory, ease agitation and improve overall mood.
Essential oils, like lavender, lemon and bergamot, have a beneficial effect on dementia patients. Peppermint oil is energizing, while rosemary is uplifting and stimulates the mind. Lavender is calming and eases anxiety. Gift these scents in the form of room sprays or massage oils.
What are gifts for seniors with late-stage dementia?
6.Robotic or Stuffed Animals
Although pets provide a sense of comfort, they come with enormous responsibility. Instead of gifting a cat or dog, present a senior in the late stages of dementia with a robotic animal. These lifelike kittens and puppies purr and bark and respond in a realistic manner when petted.
Animal therapy is calming for dementia patients, but not everyone can afford a robotic pet. An alternative is to gift a stuffed animal. When a stuffed animal resembles a beloved prior pet, the gift may be especially appealing. Plus, stuffed animals do not pose as safety hazards.
Similar to cuddly stuffed animals are plush bathrobes and soft blankets. Seniors who use a wheelchair will find a lap robe comfortable. Choose blankets in the senior’s favorite colors, such as calming blues, pinks to ease aggression or green to induce states of restfulness.
Art kits are a way for late-stage dementia patients to express themselves. Rather than rely on words they are no longer able to say, seniors who engage in art have a new way to communicate. Creating artwork may give the dementia patient a sense of purpose.
8. Family Time
In any stage of dementia, pleasant company is always appreciated. The company of grandchildren, relatives, friends and caregivers are among the simplest yet most valuable gifts to give a senior. It is important for companions, however, to be aware of the senior’s physical and cognitive limitations.
Visitors may sit with the senior, watching movies or flipping through photo albums. Additional sensory-stimulating activities may be enjoyed, such as taking short walks together outside, giving a hand massage, bringing in unusual items (like seashells or sand), and reading aloud favorite books.
Gifts that inspire a response are among the best to give seniors with early-, mid- or late-stage dementia. Sensory stimulating gifts bring enjoyment to the dementia patient despite the disease. Ideal gifts also reduce depression and anxiety and promote positive social interactions.
The best gifts are those that a senior with dementia can share with loved ones. When you hire a professional caregiver from Assisting Hands Home Care, you are giving the gift of compassion. Our caregivers offer meaningful, daily care to seniors in the comfort of home.
Dementia caregivers from our reputable home care agency are trained to identify the various symptoms of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease and gently return the patient to a state of calmness. We respond to wandering, for instance, by guiding the care recipient back to a safe place.
Our caregivers recognize that outbursts and agitation are normal, since dementia patients become frustrated with increased limitations. When incontinence issues arise, our caregivers provide discreet assistance. Our dementia care also includes assistance with a wide range of personal care activities.
Assisting Hands Home Care memory care services are designed to provide comprehensive, nonmedical support to seniors living with any stage of dementia. In addition to dependable memory care services, our caregivers are trained to provide home care for seniors with Parkinson’s disease.
Families with aging loved ones living in Matteson, Mokena, Frankfort, Crete, Bourbonnais, Sollitt, Illinois, are encouraged to choose Assisting Hands Home Care for dedicated in-home memory care services. Call us at (708) 880-7711 to schedule your complimentary in-home assessment.