Our Favorite Gift Ideas for 2017

We've compiled a list of our favorite gift ideas for loved ones with Alzheimer's and dementia. As the disease progresses, it becomes more and more difficult for our loved ones to perform simple tasks and activities they once enjoyed.

Because at THW we serve this vulnerable population and many of our staff are touched by this disease in their own families, we often share ideas during the holiday season. Below is a list of our favorites in 2017. You can also check out last year's list here.  For people living with dementia, the holiday season may bring its fair share of stress, confusion, and sadness. But there is no right or wrong way to handle the situation. Find ways to adapt and enjoy peace and joy in the moment.

Acrylic Paint & Canvases: This year one of our project managers in San Antonio bought a set of canvases and acrylic paints for her father.  He attends a senior daycare and has been doing a lot painting. She says that he is very proud of his work and she loves to be able to support his new passion. He also loves scratch of lottery tickets, so she buys plenty of those too! 

Anti-Stress Neck and Shoulder Pillow: This is a great gift to promote relaxation and comfort particularly in middle and late stages of dementia. The Alzheimers Association recommends sensory stimulation gifts. Stimulating the five senses may bring back pleasant memories.  Neck and shoulder pillows can come with a variety essential oils and with heating and cooling benefits. 

Smart Watch:  One of our staff's father does like the thought of wearing a life-alert type necklace around his neck. He does not want others to know he needs help as he has been very independent all his life.    To preserve his dignity, she bought him a smartwatch that is also SOS call location finder. Wearers can call and chat with family members and there is also a GPS + LBS location finder and accident alarm capability. 

Skil-Care Stimulator Tray: This is an interesting gift for loved ones who often feel restless. The water-based gel surface provides tactile stimulation and the stars and glitter create visual appeal as well. The stimulator has also been shown to decrease chair exits by reducing restlessness and agitation.

Twiddle Muff: Twiddle Muffs provide an engaging way to occupy the hands. Within each muff is a soft ball for squeezing and the outer area is ideal for tactile stimulation. Trims, such as buttons, ribbons and beads, offer additional engagement. Twiddle®s also helps keep the patient’s hands warm, making it perfect in outdoor activities for Alzheimer’s patients.