It can be really hard to know what to buy for your person living with dementia. You might be coming up with more questions than answers. Will they still like the things that they used to? Will they even know I’ve given them a gift? Here are some ideas to get your shopping list started:
Stimulate the senses of your loved one with a sensory gift for Christmas:
Vision –What would your loved one enjoy looking at that might bring back fond memories and feelings?
Put together a simple picture album of things you have done together. Label the pictures clearly and tell stories of your own memories that come up. Telling your memory might release one of their memories. It’s a given that they will love listening to you sharing your memories.
Picture books or coffee table books on a topic of interest to your loved one can be a great idea. If your person loved playing golf, give them a book that highlights some of the world’s best courses. If they loved to fish, give them a picture book about fishing. Some websites have reproductions of old catalogues that your loved one might enjoy. For a seamstress, some familiar sewing patterns might be fun.
Hearing – Music is a very powerful tool to create connections.
Make a playlist of the different genres that your loved one enjoys. Many people living with dementia who have lost the ability to speak can still sing along to familiar songs.
Give them a joke book and read them the jokes. Humor is something that can remain with a person long into their dementia journey. Who doesn’t love to laugh?
Touch – The Holiday Season has so many familiar things to touch.
Put together a sensory kit that includes fun and familiar items that represent the season. Consider different textures such as velvet ribbon, wrapping paper, bows, pine needles, a warm cup of hot chocolate, tinsel, and other holiday items. Talk about the feel, weight and texture of the items. Or….you could take the easy route and buy them the Connectivities Christmas Sensory Kit!
Taste – This is time of year for all things sweet! Think candy canes, gingerbread, hot chocolate or whatever tickle their taste buds or trigger positive memories
Plan to create an old favorite baking recipe with your loved one. Or bring them their favorite sweet treat. Stay with them and share the treat.
Smell – Nothing says Christmas like the smell of a fir tree!
Give your loved one a care package full of wonderful smelling lotions, candles, soaps, etc. Not only can certain scents be calming, if you take the time to use some of the contents with your loved one you will both enjoy the time together.
We hope there is something on this list that strikes a chord with you. Many people struggle with what to do when visiting your loved one. It can be difficult when you can’t connect in the same ways you used to. Connectivities is also a great gift idea! With a Connectivities box you can start a new family tradition of having fun and learning how to engage with who your loved one is today. Because Connectivities comes monthly, it is a gift you and your loved one can enjoy throughout the year! Bring a sense of playfulness to your time together and create new memories with your loved one this Holiday Season!
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