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Gift Giving for Alzheimer's and Dementia

Please see our updated Gift Guide for 2013 here.

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.

Giving a gift on a holiday can also be a part of a reality therapy routine. It brings attention to the fact that this day is his birthday, or it's Chanukah, or a special day to celebrate fathers. It might remind him of past birthday celebrations, of the meaning of Chanukah, or that he is a father and has children. The gift itself might be therapeutic. Choose something that stimulates the brain, exercises the hands, or excites the senses.

On a special day like Christmas or a birthday when family and friends gather, a good gift is one that can be enjoyed by the whole group. A game that gets everyone involved and having fun together, one that elicits old memories and conversation about those old memories is perfect for a holiday gathering. When the day is over and company is gone, things that provide sensory stimulation and entertainment are excellent choices. An activity that can be enjoyed alone or with a caregiver is always good to have on hand.