Advice from the Alzheimer’s Association about the holiday season

Advice for giving good gifts for someone with dementia

The Alzheimer's Association gives us some advice about the holidays, including good gifts.

Dealing with a diagnosis of dementia or Alzheimer’s can be difficult during the holidays. The Alzheimer’s Association provided some helpful hints.

Jenna Pogorels, the Associate Director of Community Services, addressed three areas with us.

  1. Gift giving: “Keep it simple. It could be food. Think about things that could bring comfort to that person, like a soft blanket or a fidget,” she told us. “A musical card or music that they love is good, because music can be calming. I also like the idea of making a memory book, with pictures and names. And digital clocks and easy to put on clothes are ideas as well.”
  2. Holiday travel: “One great thing is to plan ahead. Bring along some of those things that can help them feel safe and calm, like music playing in the car or in in their own earphones. If you’re flying, contact TSA. They also have ways that they can help support people in the airports and getting to gates and things.”
  3. Reducing caregiver stress: “Be kind to yourself. Make sure that you are doing things that seem reasonable and accept help and ask for help. Also, let other people in the family know what kind of changes may have happened since they last saw that person living with dementia. This is how you can have a successful interaction with them.”

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