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Old 11-22-2010, 02:03 PM   #1
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Christmas

Hello everyone,

Do you have some ideas on gifts for people with Dementia?? Also, looking for suggestions for a gift for the staff at the nursing home, something besides a nice plant.

What are your plans for Christmas with your loved ones? My plan is to take my mom to the mall and have lunch and look at the Christmas decorations. We will have the Christmas Dinner for everyone at the nursing home with my mom and her "male friend", who she thinks is her husband. Then between Christmas and New Years, my hubby and I will have her to our home to enjoy our own Christmas festivities and just a regular dinner. We don't want to make a big deal out of it. Then at New Years my hubby and I will have our turkey.

Bearcubs

 
Old 11-22-2010, 06:17 PM   #2
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Re: Christmas

The best gift you can give a loved one with dementia is your time your time in their world. My sisters thought I was crazy when I gave mom a baby doll. But she carries it everywhere and takes care of her fussy baby. It has been a great source of comfort and entertainment to her. Socks is something Mom always needs.... especially the ones that do not bind. I swear I think washers get their energy from eating socks. A picture of her family from a by gone era is another possibility. She will remember those in the old photograph before new photographs. Most photo and copy stores can reproduce photographs, change sizes, and make them fit in frames. Or you could do a scrap book from her younger years. Copies of diplomas, achievement awards, pictures... anything that would be important to her in the past. You can use these item to trigger old memories that are still stored. Make sure they are pleasant memories.... bad memories can cause agitation. We had to take all the pictures of Mom and Dad's house out of Mom's reach. Mom also enjoyed a silly little duck that sings and dances when you push a button. It makes her giggle every time she sees it. Think out of the box and see what you think SHE might enjoy.

As for the staff... my staff loves FOOD!! Any holiday I bring a container and keep it filled. I have filled containers of cookies, candy, and other snacks and treats. They ASK for a repeat of the bourbon balls from last Christmas. Their fall treat was apple dumplings. Something as simple as a basket filled with small bags of chips, packaged crackers and cookies, and wrapped sweet treats is always a hit. I filled a pumpkin with Halloween wrapped individual chocolates for a week before Halloween. The Thanksgiving basket of snacks and treats will be replaced with a Christmas bucket of cookies soon. Any time I make a cake... half goes to them. I feed the staff.... a cookie goes a LONG way

Love, deb

 
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Old 11-22-2010, 06:33 PM   #3
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Re: Christmas

Your Christmas plans sound lovely. Depending on the stage of Alzheimers and the patient's overall health, some possible gifts for a patient are one of the very soft/cuddly bed-throws, food gifts like cookies, a picture (frames should have plastic not glass if intended to be in a nursing home), or clothing items. I found some great slipper socks with grippers on the bottom for DH, since he sometimes won't wear his slip on shoes anymore. I also will give him a colorful poster of a scene with one of his hobbies for his room, in a plastic poster frame. (A patient who loved gardening might love a picture of a garden, a patient who loved fishing might like a boating picture, etc.) A silk plant or a photograph book may also be good ideas.

There are 3 shifts in DH's NH, so I sent gift baskets with lots of goodies to each shift. I figured they could pick through the baskets and everyone could take something home, or they could use the baskets for snacks through the holidays. One of the aides told me that they often get plates of cookies, which they always enjoy too.

I admit that I also gave a monetary gift to two individuals, even though it's against the rules. Those two caregivers have been very special. I saw another visitor slipping an envelope to another aide, so I know I'm not the only one to break this particular rule at DH's NH. At DH's NH, the administration appears to turn a blind eye to this kind of gift. Other NH's may enforce this rule more strictly.

 
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Old 11-23-2010, 10:37 AM   #4
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Re: Christmas

This post made me think ...
my mom will have no idea it is Christmas but I do know she loves presents...anything wrapped up in a pretty little box...so why do I think I need to wait to give her a gift. I think I will go get her a few small things and wrap them for her...maybe one each day..sort of like the advent calendar...a gift a day til Christmas. It might be fun...I hope.

I bring up doughnuts occasionally....but Deb, I like the idea of a "bucket" of sorts filled with goodies for different occasions. Think I'll hit up the Italian bakery and take them my favorite cookies.

And Bear.. I kind of wish my mom would latch on to a fellow.
It might make her stay there a little more joyous..

Love, Meg

 
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Old 11-23-2010, 04:36 PM   #5
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Re: Christmas

Meg.. I love the idea of a present a day between now and Christmas. It can be something small wrapped up in pretty paper. I like it!!! Thanks

Love, deb

 
Old 11-23-2010, 05:28 PM   #6
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Re: Christmas

I just made myself laugh. I think the first present for my mom will be one of her own stretchy bracelets. For her, it will be the first time she has seen it.
Thre's a whole lot of her stuff I can wrap up...it'll be fun to see her enjoy it all over again.

Love, Meg

 
Old 11-23-2010, 05:47 PM   #7
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Re: Christmas

Hi:
Do people with dimentia go back thru stages of life like Althizmers? I'm thinking stuffed animals....for the patients.
For the staff??? I don't know..they must get sick of candy and plants and food....How about a bunch of those angel pins...count nurses and leave one for each and tell them that you are blessed to have them caring for your loved one.

 
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Old 11-23-2010, 08:17 PM   #8
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Re: Christmas

I think I will go get her a few small things and wrap them for her...maybe one each day..sort of like the advent calendar...a gift a day til Christmas.

What a wonderful idea Meg. Please let us know how she enjoyed it.

And Bear.. I kind of wish my mom would latch on to a fellow.
It might make her stay there a little more joyous..

Meg, there is always hope. We know all about it, don't we!!

Love Elaine

 
Old 11-25-2010, 03:37 PM   #9
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Re: Christmas

Yesterday I brought mom one of her old stretchy bracelets packaged in a golden colored box and told her I have brought her a "pretty". A word she used when my brother and I were smaill...any little gift, be it a stick of gum or something larger was referred to as a "pretty".

Well, she was like a little girl looking at that golden box..she opened it and gasped at seeing that bracelet and then she smiled as though it was new sports car!! SHe first tried to put it over her head...not big enough, mom...so I put it on her wrist and she just loved it...and a few minutes later as I took her to the dining room for lunch, she looked at the bracelet and said..."I used to have one like this a long time ago". (made me laugh)

I borught her a gift today but things were going so well I didn't want to do anything out of ordinary...I needed to get her to sleep for a nap so I could slip out to have dinner with the rest of the family.

So tomorrow she gets another "pretty" in a golden colored box.

Love, Meg

 
Old 11-25-2010, 09:51 PM   #10
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Re: Christmas

Your post made me smile Meg... Tomorrow I am taking Mom's granddaughter/ my niece to surprise her. Maybe I could put her in a big gold box! This niece has not been to see Mom since early summer and doesn't like to go alone... So I am there with bells on!

Hope your tomorrow will be as good as your today... and maybe one day you can take a day off?

Love, deb

 
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