Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease that affects thousands in the United States. The disease often mimics symptoms of dementia and gradually worsens over several years. In the early stages of Alzheimer’s, memory loss is mild, but with late-stage Alzheimer’s, individuals lose the ability to carry on a conversation and partake in their environment. There are three stages of alzheimer’s: early stage, middle stage, and late stage. While the disease can take a toll on families, it is important to remember that the loss of memory can be very scary for the patient as well. If you have a loved one with Alzheimer’s here are a few gifts that you can get them, regardless of their stage of cognitive decline.
In this first stage, an induvial may still be able to function independently. Even though their day-to-day life may look normal, the person will feel a little off and suffer from frequent forgetfulness. They will notice that they struggle with memory lapses during activities of daily living, like forgetting familiar faces or not finding the right word. While symptoms may not be that noticeable to the general public family members will be able to identify memory problems.
Often known as the middle stage, this is the longest stage of the disease. The middle stage can often last for many years and will require your loved one to have more care at home. During this stage, the symptoms of dementia are very apparent. The patient will have confusion with words and often get very frustrated and upset, causing them to act out. The moderate stage is when the damage to the nerve cells in the brain are at their worst, causing noticeable cognitive deficits and memory problems that severely impact daily activities. It can often be very difficult for the sufferer to express their emotions or thoughts. Even routine tasks will become a chore. Your loved one will most likely start to withdraw from normal conversation.
Late-stage Alzheimer’s is the final stage of the disease, characterized by severe dementia and major cognitive deficits. Your loved one will have probably lost the ability to thrive in their normal environment. Their memory will have worsened and they will most likely need 24-hour care.
Finding a gift for a senior loved one with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia is not always the easiest. But there are some great ideas that can bring a smile to their face no matter what stage of the disease they are experiencing. Finding the perfect gift may depend on what stage your loved one is in. One nice idea could be a warm sweater from one of their favorite women clothing stores. The warmth will bring a sense of comfort no matter what stage they are in.
If the patient is in a later stage a sensory-related gift may be a perfect idea. Any kind of stimulation can help bring back some of your senior loved one’s memories. Activity books like crossword puzzles or a brain teaser is also a great thought since it will put their brain to work. Music is also a great conductor for memory as it can bring your loved one back to a special time and bring them joy.
If your loved one is struggling with memory an erasable whiteboard is a perfect way to write down and highlight key areas to remember. A large print day timer can also help keep track of important appointments and plans. If the patient is still living at home, night lights can also be helpful to direct them to the bathroom or kitchen. When it comes to the final stage you will really want to search for comfort gifts. A blanket in their favorite pattern would be sweet. Even a nice stuffed animal can be good for bedtime and bring great comfort.