Holiday shopping and gift giving can often be challenging, but even more so when shopping for a person living with Alzheimer's disease or another dementia. Depending on the stage of disease, some well-intentioned gifts for the person or their caregiver may be practical or bring happiness. In addition, some Association partners offer products whose purchase benefits our care, support and research efforts.
Gifts for people living with Alzheimer's
These gift ideas are for individuals living in the early, middle and late stages of Alzheimer's. They include stage-specific suggestions aimed at keeping the person engaged, safe and involved in everyday tasks.
In the early stages:
- Post-it Notes or an erasable white board to list reminders or the day's activities.
- Baskets or trays that can be labeled within cabinets or drawers.
- Gift cards for ride-sharing services or a favorite activity (golf, movie, restaurant, etc.) allowing the person to remain active.
- GPS trackers (bracelets, watches, small trackers, etc.) or enrollment in a safe return program.
- A "memory" calendar featuring family photos. Write in special family occasions such as birthdays and anniversaries.
In the middle-to-late stages:
- Music playlists that include the person's favorite artists or songs.
- Comfortable, loose-fitting clothing that is easy to put on, remove and wash, such as sweatsuits, slip-on blouses/shirts, non-slip socks, Velcro shoes, wrinkle-free nightgowns, nightshirts or a fluffy bathrobe.
- Framed photographs or a photo collage created specifically for the person living with Alzheimer's. Insert the names of the people in the photos to help with identification.
- Soothing gifts that can help with anxiety, like a handheld massage ball or a soft blanket.
- Adaptive dining equipment such as no-spill cups, plate guards and silverware with specifically designed handles that enables greater independence during meals.
To help with everyday tasks and keep the person living with Alzheimer's engaged:
- A "memory" phone that can store pictures with the names and contact information of family and friends.
- Nightlights that activate automatically when it gets dark.
- A digital clock with large type to indicate date and time.
- An outing to a movie, play or concert, sporting event, museum or possibly an organized holiday shopping trip with friends and family.
- A day spent making homemade gifts for the family together, painting ornaments, decorating stockings, table setting, scrapbooking or other activities.
Gifts for dementia caregivers
The most important gift you can give a dementia caregiver is time. In fact, just a short break each day can help lower a caregiver's stress and help them avoid burnout. These gift ideas may help lessen the task load and encourage caregivers to make time for themselves:
- Coupons for cleaning the house, cooking a meal, mowing the lawn or shoveling the driveway.
- Gift cards and certificates for restaurants or meal delivery, laundry/dry cleaning services, lawn care services, computer/technology support, maid services, and personal pampering services such as massages and pedicures.
- Books — in addition to giving novels on the caregiver's "must read" list, there are a number of books on caregiving and maintaining self-health are available at bookstores or your local library.
- Self-care items such as a bundle of personal care items (moisturizers, bath bombs and soaks, foot creams, scrubs or soaps).
Gifts that give back
Some Association partners offer products that may be appropriate gifts for anyone on your list that also benefit our care, support and research efforts, as well as donation programs for customers.
- Crayola Flowers donates 10% of sales from its custom shop to the Association.
- eBay for Charity supports the Association through consumer donations at checkout, the community sellers program, charity auctions and Gifts That Give Back.
- Faribault Mill offers an Alzheimer's Association wool blanket, with 20% of sales benefiting the Association.
- Lokai donates $1 to the Association for each Love Lokai bracelet sold.
- MantraBand donates $5 from each "Stronger Together" CharityBand to the Association.
- Walmart Spark Good Roundup. where customers can round up purchases to the nearest dollar and donate the change to the Association.
More tips for navigating the holidays
See our recommendations on how to safely enjoy time with family and friends during the holidays.
The Alzheimer's Association provides information, programs and services at no charge to help families facing Alzheimer's disease or another dementia. call our free 24/7 Helpline at 800.272.3900.