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To ask for your help to plan a really important present?

(22 Posts)
AnchorDownDeepBreath Thu 17-Nov-16 21:42:51

Someone really close to me has quite bad dementia. It looks like this could be his last Christmas - it'll definitely be his last Christmas at home.

Last year I got him a retro sweets hamper, and he loved it. It was the happiest he's been in ages.

This year I'd like to make him a hamper of things that will help him to remember the past. He was born in the early 1930s - he's in his mid-80s. I'm struggling to find ideas for what to put in... i found a book that was supposed to personalise to what was popular when you were born, but it's quite high-brow and I don't think he'd understand all the fancy drawings.

I'd really, really appreciate any advice. I'm at a loss for what to put in but the man has been amazing to me and I'd really like to give him something amazing. Thank you all flowers

QforCucumber Thu 17-Nov-16 21:45:15

I got my nan a dvd of songs from the war - she loved it and watched it every Sunday evening. Was about £5 on amazon.

Pretenditsaplan Thu 17-Nov-16 21:56:00

Can you get books with pictures of the place he lives/grew up? From the time he was there? I know near me we can get individual towns from certain decades. I regularlyget them for my day

Pretenditsaplan Thu 17-Nov-16 21:56:38

*get them for my dad even lol

Justneedaname Thu 17-Nov-16 22:19:31

The 'scrapbook' series by Robert Opie are excellent, the front covers don't give them justice I don't feel.
They are filled with images of brands and packaging, music covers, TV etc from that decade.
It's a great feeling of nostalgia flicking through and seeing bits and bobs you forgot had been around. Or indeed some that have changed so little.

Not sure which is more appropriate.

Justneedaname Thu 17-Nov-16 22:20:48

Sorry for the double don't up there.

I forgot to say, if you buy them/it in advance they may even help you get some prompts of things to put in the hamper

MotherOfBeagles Thu 17-Nov-16 22:24:33

Have you looked at a newspaper from maybe the key years? 1st,16th,18th,21st?

I know my grandad was born in 1937 and he used to tell me on his birthday he would get hand knitted gloves (Feb birthday) and hat. New pyjamas, and when he was older after the war a small bar of chocolate? Could slyly have a conversation with them about birthdays when he was a kid and get some ideas that way?

Or I've just googled most popular toys from 1940s/1930s and there's some good things you could look at there? Things like a slinky and silly putty?

Also sorry that someone close to you is going through that. It truly is awful flowers

marriednotdead Thu 17-Nov-16 22:37:33

I bought one of the Robert Opie books for my mums 70th- she absolutely loved it smile

Puffedsleevedress Thu 17-Nov-16 22:42:45

I don't have any advice better than that which has been posted already, but I do want to say that's an incredibly thoughtful idea. flowers for you

beelover Thu 17-Nov-16 22:48:48

Do you know where this man spent his early years? You can buy Francis Frith photographs online of many towns and villages throughout the UK taken in past times. Would be a reminder of his childhood to see images of places he would have known growing up. The long term memories are the ones that remain the longest for people suffering from dementia. I think your idea of a special present is a really lovely idea.

mum2Bomg Thu 17-Nov-16 23:09:09

My Nan had dementia before she died and the MOST fun we ever had was taking a load of musical instruments to her home. We made some (think pasta and rice in bottles and rubber bands over ice cream tubs) and we bought/borrowed some. She spent a few hours singing all the old songs she remembered, and we had a really amazing time. It's one of my favourite memories of time spent with her once she was 'gone' if you know what I mean? She remembered all the words to 'It's a long way to Tipperary' etc even thought she couldn't remember yesterday.

FeralBeryl Fri 18-Nov-16 00:31:59

I don't know where the hell you'd get them, but I remember working in a nursing home once where they had a lovely wooden box with 6 little bottles of 'smells' from Old Times.
It went down very well with patients with dementia. I'll have a google for you...

FeralBeryl Fri 18-Nov-16 00:41:25

Something like this-there are 4 different versions with an accompanying CD. Really lovely gift but may be a bit pricey-think about £30

hateadulting Fri 18-Nov-16 01:09:22

Feral that's a really good idea! I was just going to say that smell can make us feel so nostalgic.

Is their an aftershave or soap he would've used op?

Sosidges Fri 18-Nov-16 08:36:30

I think that Music or voice tape is best for those with dementia. Suffers don't always compute looking at a picture with a memory.

I wonder if there are speeches from politicians of the day. Maybe recordings of old radio series. Ray's a Laugh, ITMA, Whacko, The Navy Lark, spring to mind

BadKnee Fri 18-Nov-16 09:01:54

Thank you for this thread and the ideas. My mum was born in 1931 and has dementia. We are probably in the same situation as you are; last Christmas.

I am just about to order the Opie book. MN is wonderful sometimes.

Thinking of you OP - I know how hard it is. flowers

BadKnee Fri 18-Nov-16 09:08:08

Just listened to the Soundscapes sample. I was right back at home with my dad doing his DiY and my mum in the kitchen. Lovely idea

doyouwantamedalorsomething Fri 18-Nov-16 10:19:26

Make a playlist of songs?

pklme Fri 18-Nov-16 12:03:00

I was about to suggest songs! What about a children's book from the era, ladybird or something? If you ask on FB, someone will have some on their bookshelf!

Holz2429 Sat 19-Nov-16 12:59:35

Have a look online I got my Gran a book on her town from when she was a child she found this brilliant

MagicMarkers Sat 19-Nov-16 13:20:56

I agree with music. My FIL has dementia and he lives listening to old songs.

You don't have to get a different present from last year's. There's no reason not to repeat the retro sweets present if he loved it.

AnchorDownDeepBreath Thu 24-Nov-16 12:03:02

I just wanted to say thank you all again for this flowers

I've ordered an Opie book and a Francis Firth picture of where we worked; and I'm looking into scents or sounds he might like now. He's such a lovely man, he deserves some spoiling on his last Christmas.

You've all helped immensely, genuine thanks.

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