Proof Sheet ONLY Not for PublicationAs the holiday season approaches, our friends from Alzheimer’s Association asked that we share this list of ideas for possible gifts a caregiver might like.  Also, check out A Caregivers Guide for the Holidays.

For the Caregiver:

  • Money/your time
  • Something frivolous but fun (massage, spa treatment, etc)
  • A supply of frozen homemade meals
  • Long-distance phone card
  • Safety/assistive devices (exit alarms, hand-held shower, safety knobs/locks)
  • Books, magazine subscription, Kindle or reader loaded with books
  • Personal CD player and CDs or ipod loaded with favorite tunes, itunes subscription loaded onto an ipad
  • Respite for a loved one with dementia
  • House cleaning services
  • Gift certificates
  • Homemade coupon books with offers to run errands, buy groceries, iron, do laundry, home repair, gardening or spring cleaning
  • Your sympathetic ear and hugs
  • An item from the Alzheimer’s Store alzstore.com

 

For the Person with Memory Loss:

  • Sneakers with Velcro, easy care clothes
  • Enrollment in Medic Alert+Safe Return or Comfort Zone for wandering
  • Soft pillow or life-like stuffed animals
  • Memory aids (large clock, wipe off calendar, post it notes, simple recording devices)
  • Night lights
  • Natural light bulbs
  • Simple and familiar games (early stage)
  • Taxi charge account (early stage)
  • Bus pass (early stage)
  • Materials to sort (e.g. nuts and bolts)
  • Tickets to ballgame, circus or concert (early stage)
  • Music loaded onto ipod or ipad, record player with vintage records
  • Pet visits (mid to late stage)
  • Short car trips
  • Photo albums

 

Gifts for the Caregiver

Consider these possibilities for a caregiver you  know:

  • Tickets to a show and respite for the person with dementia
  • A shopping spree
  • Certificates for house repairs, cleaning or gardening
  • Respite care (volunteer to have coffee, listen to music, read or simple sit with the person with dementia)
  • Donate to the local Alzheimer’s Association Chapter in their name
  • Gift certificates
  • An invitation to a holiday meal
  • Regular visits their spouse or family member in a long term facility
  • Relaxation tapes
  • Time to sit and listen
  • Dinner out
  • Recorder for messages or reminders for the person with dementia or memory loss
  • Frozen home cooked dinners or plan to bring dinner in one night a week, warm and ready to serve
  • Research and put together a “community resource book” listing services, little known contacts, etc. Offer to make contacts and gather information
  • Set up a care schedule for neighbors, friends and professionals providing in home care or visits
  • Surprise telephone call or hand written note to say “I’m thinking of you”
  • Offer to pick up laundry, groceries, medications
  • Books: practical, fun or inspirational (check the Alzheimer’s Association bookstore)
  • Make your own coupons for free errands or favors.
  • Magazine, newsletter or newspaper subscription
  • Movie subscription to NetFlix or another online or mailing service
  • Freedom from the stress of traditional rituals and holiday activities. Take a hard look at what you’d done in the past and talk with the caregiver about what might work better now.
  • Respite and support after the family has left following the holidays. Caregivers are often exhausted from all the activity and additional care.
  • Medic Alert+Safe Return or Comfort Zone subscription in case of wandering.
  • Ipod filled with favorite music
  • Gym membership and an offer to sit with the person with memory loss during a daily or a weekly workout
  • Kindle or other electronic reader with books loaded

Photos courtesy by JLuJan