The “PERFECT GIFT” for Someone with Alzheimer’s Disease
By Lori La Bey of Senior Lifestyle Trends
The holiday season is here. Would you like to give the “PERFECT GIFT?” Would you like to save time and money?
If so, keep these things in mind –
1) Most Older Adults don’t feel a need to receive a physical gift.
2) Most People with an illness just want to be treated the same. They want things to be “normal.”
1) Alzheimer’s patients get confused. It is what happens when short term memory is lost, while long term memory follows its lead. People with Alzheimer’s disease misplace things. Nic Nac’s and clutter add confusion. They can even become safety issues.
2) Many of us are uncomfortable around illness. We don’t want to say or do anything wrong. Putting distance between us and the ill makes us feel better. It makes us feel safe. The problem is, it is not about us. It’s about them. Think how you would feel if your friends and loved ones abandoned you on a social and emotional level.
By giving the “PERFECT GIFT,” you can help shift societal patterns by remaining engaged with the ill. When you lead by example and show your compassion, you can also enjoy the person as you did prior to their illness.
So what is the “PERFECT GIFT?”
Think about what brings the person with Alzheimer’s disease pleasure. What makes them happy, joyful, and peaceful? What did you used to do with the person? What would be “normal” for the two of you to do? Please do yourself and them a favor, keep it simple. It really is not complicated.
Here are some ideas –
Chatting over coffee
Going out to dinner
Watching a movie
Going to a play or concert
Listening to music
Playing an instrument
Looking at old photos
Going for a walk or a drive
Visiting friends or family
Discussing past event
Playing cards or a game
Going to church
Working on a hobby
The list of what we enjoy doing with our friends and family is endless. Please don’t stop with my list. Make your own list and refer to it often, not just over the holiday season.
Realize, “YOU ARE THE PERFECT GIFT!”
The gift of love and support. The gift of friendship and laughter. Spending time together is precious and especially appreciated as we age or become ill.
If you still feel the need to give a physical gift, then give them a card with a nice note telling them how important they are in your life. Make a point to schedule time with them now.
Don’t ever underestimate the power
the gift of self can have on another’s life.
If you still are not sure you can engage the person with Alzheimer’s disease, please read the following article on ‘You Memory Chip” Here is the link – https://alzheimersspeaks.wordpress.com/2009/11/25/your-memory-chip%e2%84%a2-exercise/ You will be amazed how you can interact at all stages of the disease once you apply the right attitude.