CHRISTMAS AND BIRTHDAYS
With Christmas and birthdays, we can begin to think about ways to give back to those we love and care for. We are often lost as to what is an appropriate or meaningful gift for the person with dementia, whatever stage of the journey they are at. We have put together a number of gift ideas that are pleasurable, have various therapeutic benefits and would enrich the lives of your loved ones. Also ask the Occupational Therapist at your Facility or staff at your local Social Centre for further ideas or where to purchase any specialised or other equipment. Your loved one may wish to give a grandchild one of the children’s books which relates stories about people with memory loss to assist understanding. Contact Alzheimer’s WA. These items are available locally and online for your convenience this Christmas. Happy holidays!
For the special people in your life, gifts you may like to look are things such as:
- DVDs that are both relaxing and also stimulate memory, such as waterfalls, visits to the country, playing with dogs, kittens and travel wisdomactivities.com.au www.boxndice.com.au
- DVD’s of favourite musicals, movies, documentaries or TV shows and those “Carry on”, other comedy movies! These can also be loaded on with USB sticks with the newer TV’s
- iPod player with music that is their own favorite collection.
- Cordless headphones – listen to music anywhere and useful for those wanting TV louder than usual.
- CD’s particularly those that stimulate reminiscing – belong to a certain era or for those who love singing – Sing alongs and choirs.
- One Touch radio and easy to use, Alzheimer’s Australia or Contact TADWA to discuss individual designs and costs. Tel: (08) 9379 7465 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Comfortable easy to put on stretch clothes, wrinkle free shirts and Velcro shoes gadeanfootwear.com.au.Talk to your OT.
- Special herbal teas /coffee using light cups, big handles, double handled mugs which are colourful and other useful crockery. The OT at your site could help you further.
- Framed photographs or a photo collage – pictures of family and friends or pets are treasured. Also recent achievements such a participating in the Aged Care games.
- Memory Treasure boxes for jewellery and special items. Shadow boxes at eye level.
- Talking photo albums http://ilcaustralia.org.au/products/11253
- Plants – real as well as artificial for flower arranging and a small watering can. Plants that stimulate the senses such as Rosemary.
- A Bird feeder with seed.
- Hanging Mobiles, wind chimes.
- A shawl, hat, scarf or sunglasses for walks outside.
- Christmas decorations for the room, a singing Santa etc, a little Christmas tree with lights.
- A new picture, an inspiring or comforting saying for the wall.
- Gift vouchers e.g. for a manicure and /or to choose something special.
- Automatic night lights and touch sensitive bedside lamps.
- Taking pictures /videos, prepare an album together with names and places about your time together now as well as past times.
For those people in the earlier stages
- A picture Calendar which could also be family photos, writing in events/visits and clocks such as a talking clock. There are many different types: contact Alzheimer’s WA and the Independent Living Centre WA, both have displays where you can talk with staff who can advise you re choosing the right clock and calendar.
- A small diary, note book or scrapbook, to assist remembering certain events through journaling, writing poetry with the addition of photos if you wish.
- A visitors book which shows who/when people visited, some personal things such as a new grandson etc this encourages continuing reading as well as orientation to time and place.
- Large print books, short stories as well as talking books and not to forget a joke book! Books with special sayings and photos are popular.
- Large print newsletter with suitable word search etc Wisdom activities.
- Tablet computer, ipads, there are some excellent art activities /games /programs to stimulate memory, to give joy and pleasure. Contact the Independent Living Centre ilc.com.au
- Jacqui Lawson cards , for viewing and sending jacquielawson.com
- To celebrate a life history mylifestoryapp.com
- For those who enjoy reading, would a reading lamp help? For those with impaired vision visability.com.au
- A magazine/newspaper subscription related to a favorite hobby such as cars, antiques or fashion.
- An essential oil or massage cream for relaxation, for hand /arm massage, flameless candles, salt lamps to help create a special atmosphere.
- Nail polish, jewelry or makeup.
- Easy to use remote for the TV. VisAbility o8 93118202 visability.com.au
- Telephones with larger numbers –contact the Independent Living Centre display
- Post- it notes, a white board for reminder messages. Prompts and reminders – Contact Alzheimer’s WA and the Independent Living Centre.
- The Ashby Memory Method, an 8 week course and facilitation by Occupational Therapists, contact email@example.com to ask if this may be suitable for your loved one.
- Activity books such as large print word searches, maths games, crossword puzzles, games such as Connect 4, large playing cards and a roll up mat with large checkers.
- Memory games such as Shake loose a Memory, matching card games.
- If craft was an interest, things such as card making kits which you could do together and send off to a special friend or relative. Some new wool or larger needles.
- A Scrapbooking kit to create a memory book or family collage.
- Colouring / drawing books with good quality pencils which are so popular now. Pictures created by water painting with a brush.
- Jigsaw puzzles. These come in different sizes e.g. 12 piece and upwards.
- A one touch digital camera, there is always a family member or volunteer who loves photography. This could be a new hobby as well as helping stimulate memory and to create new memories.
- Tickets to the local cinema/theatre so as to spend time together in a different environment.
- The gift of time to help create a Memory book. This can be short or detailed and attach names/sentences underneath those special photos. Ask your OT or staff at your Social Centre for ideas.
- Christmas cards with songs or your own voice message when you open the card. Also other cards where you put your voice message.
- Bedrooms and bathrooms are more personal and colourful with things such as plastic wall stickers that go on tiles, a new shower cap, a favourite painting or canvas of the family to hang on the wall.
For those in the early to middle stages of memory loss
- Conversation picture cards , matching picture cards or make your own with scanned family pictures – ask your OT
- A recording of a family video or a voice recording.
- A memory book of your own photos /clear text made larger and clearer.
- Coffee table books with photographs , books with photos one side and several large print sentences on the other side.
- Poetry books , limerick books- rhyming words can be soothing
- Drawing /colouring books.
- Music activities and use of iPod.
- Tablet computer and ipad activities
- A game or activity that promotes movement of the hands/arms etc Activity aprons , Handyman’s boxes, jigsaws with fewer pieces. wisdomactivities.com.au www.boxndice.com.au
For those in the middle and later stages of memory loss
- Music activities and iPods
- Computer ipad activities
- Hand and arm massage.
- Nature and other calming videos
- A real looking baby or doll , a realistic looking stuffed animal. Furr-Real animals that walk, bark, meow and breathe.
- Voice recordings of family
- Things to hold, feel, manipulate and look at such as Lava lamps – discuss with the OT.
- Wisdom Activities wisdomactivities.com.au catalogues posted
- Box N Dice boxndice.com.au catalogues posted
- The Independent Living Centre ilc.com.au
- Montessori books and resources dementiashop.com.au
- Alzheimer’s WA including assistive technology ph: 1800 100500 fightdementia.org.au
- USA Best Dementia Products best-alzheimers-products.com
- USA- The Alzheimer’s Store. alzstore.com
- UK- Alzheimer’s shop.alzheimers.org.uk/category/gifts/
Further enquiries re gifts that may be suitable, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.