Buying presents for loved ones with memory loss or a cognitive impairment can sometimes be difficult. What will they actually find useful? Will this cause them distress? So what makes a good gift for someone with Dementia? We have put together a gift guide with what we think are a few good ideas for people at all stages of Dementia to help you find the perfect present this holiday season.
Dementia Friendly Games
Games are always fun to play during the festive season at that rare time when all of the family is together. Traditional games such as backgammon, dominoes or monopoly are great choices for someone with Dementia. Older games that your loved one played as a child may help them to engage and recall moments from their childhood or reminisce about old times. You may also want to consider simple games to help keep the mind active such as jigsaws or quizzes. It is important that you allow them to maintain their independence in social situations. If they don't understand something or become confused you can assist with gentle prompts.
Create A Storii/StoriiCare Account
StoriiCare can be used throughout all stages of Dementia as a life story and reminiscence tool for care providers. Care staff use the platform for side by side therapy with residents to help improve quality of life and the level of care provided. The public version of StoriiCare, Storii, is a free tool for families to use across the world. Families can connect to their loved ones on StoriiCare and add life story content for care staff to use, whilst getting automatic updates whenever sessions are ran with their relatives by care staff. Creating a Storii account is free for families and would be a perfect gift for your loved one this Christmas. Compiling a lifetime of memories in one, simple place that they can always go back to is a gift that keeps on giving.
Keeping warm this winter is important - especially for those who are vulnerable to the cold. The elderly are more prone to infection during winter and have an increased sensitivity to cold temperatures which can lead to illness. A good way to avoid this is by keeping warm. A gift idea for a loved one at Christmas could include a thermal jacket for outside or a cosy fleece that they can wear indoors which you can put in plain sight for them to access easily. For a bit of added luxury, a fluffy bathrobe in their favourite colour with some cosy, non-slip slippers could also be a great gift.
Certain types of Dementia can affect a person's perception and vision. Comfortable, secure shoes are a must have to help reduce the risk of falling. To support someone with Dementia and help them maintain their independence it may be worthwhile purchasing them shoes that are easy to slip on. Avoid shoes with laces or buckles so they don't need to ask for help when getting dressed.
Some of the best gifts aren't physical items, but experiences. Simply take them out for the day. If they are a sports fan, buy them tickets for their favourite sport or for something relaxing let them indulge in a spa day out. Even taking the time for dinner or afternoon tea with the family is a lovely way to celebrate the festive season.
Whatever gifts you give your relatives this Christmas, remember that sometimes just spending time with people you love is a gift in itself.