Many caregivers want to celebrate the holiday season by giving their seniors a special gift. Gift giving is not always as simple as it seems, especially if the elderly person has dementia or other cognitive impairment and relies on a caregiver for in-home care. If you are stumped about presents that seniors can really use, here are a few suggestions that may help you find the perfect gift for your loved one or client.
Ages and Stages
Elderly people may not have the same material needs as they once did, especially if they have downsized or need senior care. They can age at their own rates and have different levels of functioning and independence. Some seniors may continue to stay physically active and mentally sharp, while others may have physical limitations or memory impairment which can impact their ability to care for themselves. As a caregiver, you should think about what kind of gift would be appropriate for your loved one. You may want to consider items that range from the practical to the sentimental, depending on what would make your senior feel special.
Mild Memory Impairment
Seniors in earlier stages of cognitive function loss can benefit from gifts that help them remember or stimulate their mental activity. Games and puzzles are great for elderly people because they can allow for social interaction while exercising their cognitive muscles. Another gift idea is a customized calendar with family photos; you can even note special occasions, including birthdays and anniversaries, to help your loved one stay connected to friends and family.
Middle of the Road
Even with worsening dementia, seniors may still enjoy gifts that can stimulate long-term memory. Craft supplies or simple art projects can be relaxing and fun. You may also consider a collection of music on CD's or favorite movies or nature videos on DVD to enjoy together. A talking photo album or photograph collage would be appreciated by most seniors as well.
More Advanced Memory Loss
Caregivers can give gifts that appeal to the senses for seniors with more significant cognitive impairment, including:
- Easy-to-care-for plants
- Bird feeders for a room window in a senior care facility
- Soft robes or blankets for lounging
- Comfy, non-restrictive clothing
- A sound machine or aromatherapy diffuser
- Scented lotion
As long as you put thought and love into your gift selection, you can bring a bit of holiday magic to your senior’s life, no matter what their cognitive function level. If you need more ideas about caring for a loved one, contact Home Helpers. We help both caregivers and seniors with in-home care, respite care, and more for peace of mind throughout the year.