July 24, 2014

What could be better than getting a present on a special day? Christmas, a birthday, Mother's day or Father's day, Valentine's day: These and many more occasions offer an excuse or a reason to give a gift to that loved one who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease or another dementia. We often gift wrap the things that we bring to Bernice, whatever the day. She always lights up, smiles, and an ordinary day becomes a holiday.

There's a lot of list of gift ideas for elderly with dementia and alzheimer's on the internet, this one is base on my best friend's experience-which is actually the younger caregivers i've ever known (she just turned 40), After observing her mother and her housemates for a year and noticing what ends up in the trash and what gets coveted (and sometimes “borrowed”) by fellow residents, this is what she had come up with :

1.  Day Night Clock for Dementia & Alzheimer's 

This day night clocks will help everyone avoid the embarrassment of not knowing where in the week they are! When your elderly with dementia was waking up at night and didn't realise that it was the middle of the night (due of course to her condition). Now she looks at the clock and with the definition of Night and Day understands fully. It was designed to assist people with Alzheimer's & Dementia. The clock has a basic analogue design with the addition of a graphics disc that rotates with the hour hand.

The graphic changes depending on the time, and informs the viewer whether it is day or night. The Day / Night Clock shows a blue sky with the sun during the daytime, in comparison to dark blue sky with stars and the moon at night.

In large letters: Day, Night.
In smaller letters: Morning, Afternoon, Evening, Night.

Day clocks do just what they sound like they do – they’ll tell you, or your elderly, the day of the week which is very important to a lot of people. I particularly like that day clock above as it changes the readout depending on the time of the day. This is a perfect gift for someone with dementia as it helps center them. 

2.  Music for for Dementia & Alzheimer's

Music for dementia

This 6-disc set includes 4 hours of great musical classics chosen for Alzheimer's/Dementia Patients who are 70 years of age and older: Big Band Medleys, Vocal Standards Collection, Instrumental Medleys and Light Classical Favorites.

Another music CD -- Meditation for the Caregiver -- is also included.
What makes this set unique besides great songs and outstanding performances? Through a unique, patent pending process called Altus Oscillation, various gentle stimulating wave impulses --already present in the brain -- are harmoniously united with recognizable music, producing a listening experience much more therapeutic than music alone. There are no invasive stimuli or pharmaceuticals involved in Altus Oscillation and utilizing the system is as simple as turning on a CD player. A very important bonus DVD is included as our gift... "Accepting the Challenge -- Providing the BEST CARE for PEOPLE with DEMENTIA"
Check the Price HERE

3. Bed Alarm systems

The prevention of wandering is very important when caring for people with Alzheimer's & Dementia. Wandering with short-term memory problems frequently results in people becoming lost, confused, disorientated, and upset.

Alarm systems are a must have if you're dealing with a fall risk patient or an Alzheimer's patient who may wander. Here is the wandering alarms that can be used throughout the home to alert a carer or loved one when an individual with Alzheimer's or dementia is wandering. I've found it after search and compare on the market and am list here as one of Thoughtful gift ideas for elderly with dementia or alzheimer

Caregiver Alarms offer an efficient method of monitoring if an individual with Alzheimer's or dementia is getting up from a bed or chair - This package includes a Bed Monitor and Bed Pad with 1 year manufacturer's warranty.

Bed alarms and sensor pads are the best method of getting an early alert that your elderly with Alzheimer's or dementia is trying to get out of bed. Place the pad under your elderly's back or buttock area (beneath the fitted sheet). The pad has a cord which runs along the side of the mattress. When the individual with Alzheimer's or dementia starts to sit up, taking their weight off the pad, the pad sends a signal to the bed alarm monitor and the monitor will start to alarm and let you know they need assistance. By having an alarm in the room with the individual with Alzheimer's or dementia, you will not only hear the alert from an adjacent room, but they may slow down and wait for you because they hear the alarm sound, giving you valuable time to come to their aid.

Volume control is located on Bed Alarm. The bed pad should be placed below lower sheet either across the center back area or the buttocks. Cord from pad runs along the side of the mattress and securely connects to the bed monitor which can be attached to the bed or wall or it can be placed in a convenient location nearby. Click Here to check price

4. A Scented, Soothing “Dream Pillow”

Medications for the elderly, and especially those with dementia, are notorious for causing insomnia, sleep disruptions, and nightmares.  My best friend's mother has been very comforted by a little “sleep pillow” she made in an herb class, that took about 15 minutes to make, even with no sewing skills.  She had an experienced sewer guide her and hold her hand, but you can use a firmly tied up drawstring bag or nontoxic glue, if you’re the no-sew type. The little pillow goes right under the normal pillowcase, or on top, as preferred, to provide scented, soporific comfort at bedtime. 

Alternatively you can try these Japanese Buckwheat Pillows. The buckwheat is a flowering plant grown in Asia and North America, with triangular shell-like hulls. The plant's kernel are cultivated, organically, to meet the highest quality. They're referred to as hulls, husks or seeds.

It Fend of sleep-depriving symptoms such as tension, stiff neck, back and muscle pain, headaches and allergens. Buckwheat Pillow contours your elderly head, neck and spine to provide above average pain relief and a better night's sleep whether they're a back or a side sleeper.

5. Two handed tea pot

This two handed tea pot which is one of geared toward items to help your elderly with dementia and alzheimer's remain as independent as possible. This yellow two handed tea pot is great for arthritic hands. This Yellow version of the Wade Dignity 2 Cup Tea Pot has two large handles to ensure ease of grip when lifting, and to help steady the tea pot when pouring.The Wade Dignity range of crockery has been specifically designed for use by people with Dementia and Alzheimers Disease. The range was developed in conjunction with Stirling University, healthcare professionals and disabled people. The coloured plates and bowls allow people to clearly see what they are eating whilst the clever design assists with the scooping and lifting of food. Click HERE to check the price

For the home care situation, it is recommended that the person wishing to purchase a gift to first ask the family member for recommendations. Decorations, candy, food items can be harmful and should never be given without the family members approval. There are items that they may really need and all though some gifts may not be regarded as glamorous may be a necessity for the person with dementia.

I’m hoping that this article will be one avenue to connect with like-minded, creative, holistic, forward-thinking, inclusive dreamers to brainstorm and eventually create better models of residential and community care for elders and ultimately ourselves.  I want to see dementia-care integrated into communities, surrounded by accessible gardens, parks, and children’s playgrounds.  I want to work towards this vision so that one day such places will exist so that that isolation and exclusion does not have to be an everyday reality for us when we reach the final stages of life and health.

Please give your elderly loved one a hug and a kiss from me - Samantha
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