’Tis the season to be safe. If you postponed your family’s in-person holiday celebrations this year, your relatives probably postponed shopping for your loved one’s gift, too. When it’s safe to gather again – and if your family opts to vaccinate, that could be fairly soon – your extended family members and friends may be reaching out to you for appropriate gift ideas.
“It’s always a good idea for caregivers to have some recommendations to give people who don’t see their loved one often,” says Winsome McLeod, Executive Director at YourLife™ of Stuart, a Memory Care community in Stuart, Florida. “Depending on the type and progression rate of the person’s dementia, their abilities could have changed considerably since the last time their relative visited, whether that was before the pandemic began or even a few weeks ago.”
In this post, we’ll offer a few practical, stage-appropriate ideas to share with others or to keep in your back pocket for future gift-giving occasions.
Thoughtful gifts to help your loved one safely live in their home and maintain their lifestyle and independence for as long as possible are at the top of this list.
- Delivery subscriptions. Assure your loved one that they will not run out of necessities like prescriptions, groceries, toiletries, pet food, detergents, paper products, and other frequently used items. Amazon’s Subscribe & Save program has thousands of items available to mix and match for discounted rates. Be sure to check in with your loved one each month to make sure prescriptions and shopping lists are up to date.
- Home safety modifications. If you have a few handy relatives who live nearby, perhaps they could chip in and give the gift of time and labor to helping your parent assess and optimize their environment.
- Automatic pill dispenser. If your loved one has trouble remembering to take their meds, they can pre-fill the compartments with the proper dosages, then program an alarm for each compartment that will beep or play a voice recording reminding them to take that set of pills.
- Crossword puzzle books, math or strategy game books, magazine subscriptions or books that interest your loved one will help keep their mind active and sharp.
- Location and navigation helpers. If your loved one enjoys hiking, fishing or camping, or lives in a remote area, GoFindMe is a real-time GPS tracker and communication device that works without cell service. There are also stylish, wearable options that give people with early stages of memory loss the confidence to pursue hobbies and activities outside the home. For example, iGPS Phoenix Watch is an intuitive wristwatch-smartphone-tracker combo featuring: a cell phone with voice and text capabilities, Alexa Assist, SOS button, navigation assistance, location finder, and more.
- Car safety upgrades. AARP’s 90-minute Smart DriverTEKSM online workshop can get you up to date on the latest high-tech safety features like rearview cameras, smart headlights, collision warning systems, drowsy driver alerts, assistive parking systems, blind-spot and lane-departure warning systems.
- A CarFitSM assessment. A team of trained technicians can recommend the best mirror, steering wheel and seat positions, vehicle modifications, posture tips, and more to find your loved one’s best "fit" for maximum comfort and safety.
Note: If your parent is sensitive about their memory loss or changes in their physical abilities, focus on the gift within the gift – the gift of independence.
- Wearable location device or ID bracelet. These inconspicuous personal tracking devices can alert your smartphone if your loved one wanders past set boundaries, if they miss a doctor’s appointment, and more.
- Aromatherapy dispenser with soothing essential oils recommended to help manage dementia symptoms
- Photo albums of family and friends, with pictures arranged in chronological order
- Pampering manicure set or gift certificate to the salon
- Senior-friendly tablet with voice and video chat options, games, music, and more
- Games and puzzles
- Adult coloring or water coloring books
- Crafts that inspire reminiscing
- Cozy, non-skid slippers
- Picture dial phone
The greatest gifts we can give people with advanced dementia are comfort, peace, and joy.
- Aromatherapy dispenser with soothing essential oils recommended to help manage dementia symptoms.
- Heatable aromatic stuffed animal
- Portable stereo or tablet with a collection of their favorite music or hymns
- Reassuring lap pad
- Scented lotions for hand massages
- Fluffy, comforting robe
Learn how YourLife™ of Stuart gives people with memory loss the gifts of comfort and joy every day. Call us today. 772-212-2448
Designed for You. Defined by You.
YourLife™ of Stuart was created with one purpose – to provide the most exceptional Memory Care and uplifting lifestyle for our residents. As Memory Care specialists, we focus all our energy, attention, and resources on creating a community that caters to each resident’s personal needs, respects their choices and honors individuality while providing unmatched peace of mind and support for families.
Because Memory Care is our sole focus, we have the unique ability to design and personally tailor plans around our residents. We see each resident as an individual, understanding that everyone has their own story, specific needs and retained abilities. With that information, we develop personally inspired care plans that value and support each person’s independence.
Our team of attentive, caring YourLife™ Personal Care Specialists is on site 24 hours a day, seven days a week to assist with everyday activities, gentle reminders, and redirection.
Through our signature programming, YourStory, we create an individual experience centered around each resident. From cultural, educational and health and wellness programming, scheduled outings and other special events to personal care, assistance, and multiple therapies, we create days with meaning. At YourLife™ of Stuart, our residents and families know that this is a community designed for you, with a lifestyle defined by you. Contact us to learn more! Call 772-212-2448.