Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Nifty Christmas Gifts for my Alzheimer's Mom

My mom received some really lovely Christmas gifts this year that other dementia patients might appreciate, so I'll share them here.

Mom loves her dementia digital clock (right).  I was concerned that she might not be able to read the date, which is relatively small, but the contrast between the numerals and background is good and the clock is well lit, so she has no problem. The dementia day clock (left) eliminates a.m./p.m. confusion.  It may be coincidental but since Mom received her day clocks, she hasn't called me at 2 a.m. to ask what time it is! 

We of course did not use the term "dementia" to describe her new gifts for her.  I said, "These are for people who are retired and no longer have set schedules, to help them keep track of their days." 

A cozy cardigan and a soft lap robe. 

Mom has always loved cardinals--she calls them red birds.  Our daughter-in-law found incredibly soft flannel sporting Mom's favorite feathered friends, and tied a lap robe for her.  Mom loves it--she keeps exclaiming, "This is so soft!".  The lap robe has the added benefit of being especially warm, so I can lower the thermostat in her room to a level that keeps me from gasping for air as I go about caregiving chores. The red cardigan we gave her just happened to coordinate with her new lap robe so she looks as cheerful as she feels. 

Some Alzheimer patients might be offended by children's picture books, but not my mother.  She loves her "My First Little House" books, and reads them aloud as for an audience. 

Another favorite gift is the hymn songbook and c.d. gifted by our daughter and son-in-law.  The songs go a bit fast for her but Mom doesn't care.  She often has the book open to a different hymn than the one playing on the c.d., and sings her own tune quite happily.  I tried turning the c.d. off because the dissonance bothered me, but Mom objected.  "Why'd you turn off my music?  I'm singing with it!" she said. If she's happy I can put up with two unrelated joyful noises being raised together!

We are settling in for a cozy January here in Kansas thanks in part to these items that, for now, have raised Mom's contentment level. Happy New Year from our home to yours. 


  1. Your mom looks very happy with her new blanket and red sweater. What a good idea for the clock. Thank you for the ideas. Happy New Year. ~ Abby

  2. Super gift ideas! How wonderful that they are helping you both! Your mother looks like a very content Christmas gal. A blessed 2015 to you and yours!

  3. What a precious picture of your mother with her quilt. I enjoyed seeing her so happy. I'm sure you did, too. What lovely gifts. I hope your Christmas was blessed.

  4. Your mother is so pretty. I love all of the cheery red....
    Those are wonderfully thoughtful gifts and given in a caring and gentle way.

  5. Will get one of those for MIL! Thanks for the tip!