Critter Corner: Holiday Gifts for a Loved One with Dementia

Dear Baxter,
I would like to buy a holiday gift for my grandmother with dementia. Do you have any ideas about what I should get for her, that she could appreciate.
Aggie Ift-Forgrama
Dear Aggie,
Shopping for holiday gifts for loved ones can be challenging, especially if the person has dementia. You may be unsure about what she would enjoy or what she is capable of doing. As with anyone, when choosing a gift for your grandmother, think about her personality, her hobbies, her abilities, and her favorite pastimes (things that could help bring back happy memories for her).
These are a few gift suggestions I think could work well:
• A Personalized Calendar: Give your grandmother a calendar that includes pictures of loved ones, including grandchildren, children, nieces, nephews, cousins, etc.  In addition to photos, take the time to fill in special dates, like birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, and family reunions.
• Music: Buy or make her a CD with songs by her favorite artists, or purchase a subscription to Pandora or a similar music service where you can select music based on her preferences. Music can help those with Alzheimer’s to remember enjoyable events and times from their past marked by specific songs or artists.
• Comfortable clothing: If you are buying your grandmother clothing, make sure it is easy to put on or take off and machine washable. Consider items like sweatshirts, sweatpants, pajamas, nightgowns, sweaters, slippers, or a warm robe.
• Identification bracelets: Identification bracelets are available from many different providers and help to ensure that your loved one makes it home safely if they leave the house unattended. This is a list of some ID bracelets/devices to track loved ones prone to wandering.
• DVDs: DVDs of movies, musicals, or plays can be a great gift and also rekindle wonderful memories from the past.
Hope this is helpful and that you and your family have a wonderful holiday season!
Woofs and Kisses,
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About Renee Eder

Renee Eder is the Director of Public Relations for the Farr Law Firm, and gives the voice to the Critters of Critter Corner. Renee’s poodle, Penny, is an official comfort dog who she and her children bring to visit with seniors who are in the early stages of dementia at a local senior home once a month.