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  • Writer's pictureKaren McPhail, RN, MSN

Holiday Gift Giving for Those with Dementia - Creating Moments of Joy!

The other day I virtually met with the daughter of one of my clients. She cares for her mother at home with dementia and does an amazing job doing so! During our visit, the daughter suddenly started to cry as we spoke about the holidays. She explained tearfully that she had always loved getting gifts for her mother, but now what could she possibly buy for someone with dementia? What would really bring her joy or even be appropriate? My response...

Lots of fun things will still bring her moments of joy!!!

So, this week I decided to put down some of my favorite ideas for holiday gift giving for those with dementia:

1. Active Minds guided puzzles for those with dementia. Lot's of terrific puzzles that are structured for those with cognitive impairments! Some even have wonderful nostalgic themes!

2. Keeping busy and Active Minds games such as match the shapes, match the dots, the TRIO game, and match the pins activity games. These games are structured for those with cognitive impairments and can be terrific fun per the instructions or in a variety of non-structured ways! They also have great simple crafts and other activities!

3. Large print coloring books (color your mind is excellent), word search books, nostalgic crosswords, simple brain puzzle books. I also like Connecting Memories as developed for those with dementia! NASCO simple crafts book for those with cognitive impairments is also a great guide book!

4. Senior simple chair exercise tapes and nostalgic CD's of music and television shows such as Dean Martin, I Love Lucy, etc.

5. Music BINGO for seniors, large lacing and stringing beads, and magnetic puzzles such as the baking cupboard, or larger easy to link or connect blocks.

6. Fidget cubes and activities, comfort aids such as Q3 enterprises twiddle sport comfort aid, alzheimer's, dementia activity hand muff puppy or lion, or an activity mat or apron, such as the flaghouse activity apron. These help with fidgeting, and anxiety and are great for those who like to keep their hands busy.

7. A simple soft doll or stuffed animal can also be a comfort and tap into long term preserved memories! Think about their life and what they will potentially connect with and be happy seeing!

8. Mem pic books and brain rehab activities. Mem pic books are a great way to tap into preserved memory and engage at an individuals level!

9. Finally, The Caregivers Guide to Dementia: Practical Advice for Caring for Yourself and Your Loved One, by Gail Weatherill, RN is a terrific book to give a care giver or care partner.

These items can all be purchased on a variety of websites including amazon, and at some retail stores. These are just a few of our favorites, but we are happy to share more if you reach out via our contacts area on the main page!

Reach also out if you need assistance with recreational programming for a family member with Dementia or even mild cognitive impairment. We are happy to design a custom program for your loved one along with custom activity boxes on a rotational basis!

During covid this is great for those on quarantine in a care community!

Happy Holidays!!!!

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