Gift Ideas for Someone with Alzheimer’s Disease or Dementia

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Photo Credit: Joanna Kosinska / Unsplash

It can be a challenge to choose a gift for someone with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. Whether you’re looking for a present for a birthday, Father’s Day, Christmas, or any other special occasion, these practical ideas can help you celebrate your loved one.

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  • Visits: Make regular visits to the family that is caring for a person with Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Hugs: People with Alzheimer’s disease miss being touched. Be generous with hugs — offer hugs to the caregiver, too.
  • Music: CDs, tapes, music boxes, and other sources of music with music they enjoy can be calming.
  • Books and magazines: Reading material with lots of colorful pictures and old familiar scenes can be a source of entertainment.
  • Photo albums: Get treasured pictures enlarged to recall the early days.
  • Movies: Look for videos from the 1940s through the ’80s.
  • Food: Fresh fruit, cookies, ice cream, frozen meals, or home-cooked meals that can be frozen and used later are delicious and convenient.
  • Clothes: Look for comfortable sweaters, “warm-up” suits, jackets with Velcro fastening, etc.
  • Grooming products: Skin lotion, hair products, and aftershave make great gifts. (Make sure to find out your loved one’s favorite fragrances first!)
  • Gift certificates: Consider purchasing a gift card for a beautician, pedicurist, barber, favorite restaurant, house cleaning service, cleaners, or to a play or movie.
  • Respite: Offer respite to the caregiver.
  • Assist with errands: Offer to do grocery shopping, post office, or any other needed errands for your loved one or their caregiver.
  • Night light
  • Electric razor
  • Talking watch or clock

Learn more about celebrating holidays with someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia, visit The Alzheimer’s Caregiver® lesson on Traveling, Driving, Holidays, and Special Occasions.

This above gift list was adapted from the Caregiver Newsletter of the Duke Family Support Program, Fall, 1993.

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