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appropriate Christmas gifts(11 Posts)
How about a CD of music from his era? Dementia sufferers often like to be reminded of a time that is more fixed in memory. My elderly aunt thinks she is 12 years old (not 90) and in a boarding school (not residential care) some days but she can always remember the words to every song from her 20s.
Agree with the cd, we got my nan a cd of wartime songs - Vera Lynn etc - and she was in tears of happiness. She also liked opening nice textured things like a soft wool scarf or jumper, fluffy hot water bottle cover, even cuddly toys.
My Nan also liked nice textured things, comforting things like a rug or slippers.
My grandma liked textures, a soft blanket, a nice new duvet cover and a warm cardigan went down very well.
Also reckon a cd would be a good idea. My mum got my nan a cd box set of Frank Sinatra and she loved it.
think I might write a book. My darling dad passed away end of November I am an OT and used every skill I have to help my mum maintain him, eventually in a care home. I learned soooo much.How wonderful you love your uncle enough to put the effort in, many people disappear, we certainly learned who our friends were!
A few useful tips I learned;
1. As dementia takes hold conversations get harder and harder, a few simple games ideally adult that are familliar e.g dominoes can provide a conversation piece and purposeful activity.We played cards , dominoes did jigsaw puzzles ( puzzles are tricky as they cost a fortune to get specialist dementia ones I found a chap on e bay who would make puzzles from photos that had 20-30 pieces- DONT USE BLACK AND WHITE PICTURES FOR PUZZLES THEY ARE IMPOSSIBLE. Books of photographs of places that were familiar from the past also provide a useful talking point or any thing else he was previously interested in (music/cars/ sports as the memory deteriorates the person can remember events in the long term, dad loved books on Chelmsford, our home town and old cars the works is great for books).DVDs are also good of shorter programmes especially older stuff, dads army etc, dad loved Laurel and Hardy and Tom and Jerry, films are less good as they require prolonged concentration
2.I am a sensory integration trained OT SI was originally used with children but works well with dementia too as the progression of the disease takes hold. I used fish and chips in paper to help get dad alert enough to engage. I know that sounds totally whacky but this provided lots of what we call sensory input ; tactile input salty greasy fingers, the feel of the paper, proprioception which comes from chewing food, smell of the food and taste of the food this alerted him and "woke him up" to engage. In the end dad weighed about 50% of his adult body weight this meal was the only one we could rely on. I also used a ball to play catch with him which also wakes up the sensory system.
3. Best present idea from last christmas, dont wrap in sellotaped packages, the fine motor skills go as does ability to concentrate on the task, my uncle wrapped all his presents in tissue paper with no sellotape and put them in a gift bag BRILLIANT! The only presents he really coped with.
4. Calorie intake drops and feeding is a problem, there was not a single overweight person in dads care home so anything with calories is good, nice jams, other sweets, biscuits BUT a word of warning dad lost his ability to understand about biting too hard and broke all his teeth as he was given boiled sweets at his day centre which he bit onto without realising he was damaging his teeth, dentistry is a nightmare for people with dementia so prevention is better than cure
I thought on numerous occasions dad would find things too childish/insulting but you have to try things as the person that your uncle was is different and dad actively engaged with many things dad would not have been interested in.
One final point thanks for caring enough to keep supporting your Aunt and Uncle, those who supported us and my mum were a life saver during one of the most painful experiences of my life. MERRY CHRISTMAS.
Just bumping this really as I found it very useful for ideas for my Grandad and thought others might benefit too
My mums favourite present this year has been a toddler book where you press the buttons and it plays music. Shes fascinated by it, and the very short tunes are just enough (she doesn't listen to music of any kind now). I did try her with a rag doll as she is very fond of a toy dog, but that didn't work!
Hello, just popping in with an idea for a Christmas gift for someone with dementia - I have bought this for my mum (who has dementia and poor eyesight) and think it should be good.
Its a little electronic "memo recorder". I can record lots of short messages on it and she can play them back just by pressing the big black button. So when I'm not there she can press it and hear, for example, "your cough linctus is next to the microwave" or " I'll see you tomorrow at 2pm" etc.
Her it is:
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