Dementia is a disease that refers to an impairment in the way someone thinks and remembers things.
Approximately 6 million Americans today are struggling with this disease. It impacts how they make decisions and do all the things in a day that we take for granted.
Dementia care during a holiday or even an overdue visit can feel troubled or burdened, but it doesn’t have to be.
You can still make these times special for them, without having to worry if they will remember something.
When you are wondering what to do for your friend or loved one in dementia care, try these gift and visiting ideas that will put smiles on both of your faces.
Things to Keep in Mind
It’s natural to want to bring a gift or care package to someone you are visiting that is in dementia care, or thinking about it.
The most ideal things to do for them will stimulate a socialization time with you, or will make them comfortable.
You may want to bring nostalgic items that will help to foster remembrance. Even a Fourth of July wreath that was a family favorite can be a game-changer in their entire summer season.
There are ways to help them feel the good that you want them to feel without feeling like you are overstepping, or making them feel like a burden themselves.
It doesn’t have to be a memorable gift. You can do or bring something that is comfortable, like lounge clothes that they like that can be hard to find.
Gifts that have a sensory attachment to them can also help them to just feel good in that moment.
Gifts with a tactile component to them can also provide a simple pleasure that lets them know that you care.
Here are some more specific ideas to help.
Photos, Scrapbooks, and Mementos
Gifts or care items that help with memories are often encouraged for people in dementia care, or thinking of dementia care. They aren’t always completely memory-free, it just may feel like that to us sometimes.
It can feel like that to them too. Anything that can help your loved one remember anything helps them to feel accomplished, like they haven’t completely lost their memory.
It makes for a fun visit too! You still have fond times together, and this is why they are your loved ones.
Something like photos or mementos can give you something positive to enjoy during your visit. It doesn’t have to be something extravagant. Even an elegantly framed photo can change their day on a dime.
Music, Movies, and Books
Entertainment is something your loved one actually needs. They need it to fill time, and if they can concentrate on a book or movie, it’s another thing that helps them to feel productive.
Music can be another thing that helps to trigger memories, and bring comfort as well. You might also consider some sleep audio files, or even books on audio.
Gift cards for any of these items can be useful as well. This gives them the power to make the decisions on what would be the best gift for them.
Invest With Time
Giving your loved one time during a holiday or celebratory day can be just as thoughtful and beneficial as an actual gift.
Think of things that will help them to feel productive, but also relaxed enough to inspire a smile. Investing in time and a small visit is the best way to love someone that is in dementia care.