Care Manager – December Newsletter
The Holidays are Here!
The holidays are here, and our care managers are often asked about gift suggestions for people living with dementia. It is wonderful to continue the tradition of gift giving, so we have put our heads together to come up with different categories and examples of possible gifts appropriate at different stages of dementia. (Please remember that you know your loved one best, and these are general suggestions).
Stages of Dementia
Early to Mid-Stages of Dementia: Gift suggestions for people living with dementia that are managing in their daily lives but notice a decline in one or more areas of cognition.
Arts and Engagement Art and music activities are great gift ideas. Plus they are good for the brain!
Share their stories Creating opportunities for family member to share their memories and commemorating them is a gift for you as well. It can be as simple as asking questions while recording on your phone or use an outside company. Here are suggestions:
Read about others’ journeys with dementia People living with dementia share their experiences and hopefully connect with what your loved one is feeling
Brain Games Keeping the brain engaged is important during the early to mid-stages of dementia. Here is an example.
Middle Stages of Dementia
These suggestions focus on activities that you might have enjoyed previously with your loved one, but these gifts have slight adjustments to accommodate their current abilities.
Arts and Creativity
Painting made simple
Communication and Conversation starters Conversation cards for Adults with Memory Loss
Research shows that we hold on to the music we heard in our youth. Here is one option to consider:
Simplified Music Player For Alzheimer’s and Dementia | Simple MP3 Music Player for Seniors and Elderly with Limited Hand Coordination or Arthritis | Easy to Use and Easy to Play Music | Preloaded w/ music or Upload Your Own | SMPL | Alzstore
Later Stages of Dementia
As your family member is experiencing the changes in the later stages of dementia, sensory items are enjoyable. Tailor them to their interests. Activities that are simpler and larger have the most success. It might take a few tries before they participate with you.
Art and Creativity
Sensory Exploration Items allow your family member to explore safely a smaller world at their fingertips. These sensory items have demonstrated to reduce anxiety for people who are no longer able to express their thoughts and feelings. Here is an example:
Animatronic Animals are wonderful companions if appropriate for your family member. It is best to get this recommendation from a professional. Here is an example of one.
Color match dominoes: Here is one suggestion of an activity for someone that loved dominoes.