Gifts for a person with Lewy Body Dementia for Christmas, birthday, or any time!
If a person suffers from any type of dementia, you will want to keep that in mind when shopping for him/her.
Lewy Body Dementia
Lewy Body Dementia is a cognitive disorder that often accompanies Parkinson’s Disease or Alzheimer’s. I am learning more about Lewy Body because my dad suffers from it. I don’t claim to be an expert. But, as time has progressed, I have noticed that changes have affected my dad’s daily life. He’s changing. We are doing our best to help him. Perhaps you also know someone who suffers from Lewy Body Dementia or another form or dementia.
This website discusses the stages of Lewy Body Dementia. Right now, if I had to guess, I’d say my dad is in stage 4, but I think the stages are kind of fluid–he goes between the stages. Some days are good, and some not so good. This is not a disease that will get better, but will advance. That said, we can do things to try to make life easier and more enjoyable despite physical and mental symptoms.
Thoughtful Gifts for a Loved One with Lewy Body Dementia
Knowing that your time is limited with your loved one with any type of cognitive decline, there are some gifts that can target specific needs, which may help to bring a little more joy into your precious family member’s life. I know that’s what you want!
When you’re considering your loved one with dementia, don’t forget about his or her caregiver. See my recent post on Thoughtful Gifts for a Caregiver
Gifts to keep him WARM
LEWY Body loved ones just have a hard time staying warm. Don’t fight it! It’s no fun to feel cold! Here are a few ideas to keep her warm and cozy!
Heating pad for mattress Be sure to get dual controls, so that each person can adjust according to how warm they want it.
Heating blanket throw. You can put this on the sofa for your loved one to sit on or under.
Lap afghan or blanket—non-heated. Small fleece blankets or crocheted afghans work well for chilly days when you don’t need the extra heat of an electric blanket.
Jackets, flannel shirts, etc. Just something to layer up and keep them warm.
Slippers with treaded soles.
Socks, robes, warm clothing. Something easy to get on and off when temperatures change
Gifts to increase comfort
Weighted blanket You purchase these according to body weight: 1 pound per 10 pounds body weight, approx. These are helpful to use for sleep, because the weight is like a hug, enveloping the person and making when feel secure. I use one for my patient, and it does help to relax her. There are many styles, from plain to plush. I have linked a basic one.
Massaging tools. These help mostly if someone can use them on the person. Many styles available.
Therapy Putty. I don’t know why, but it’s just fun to squeeze this stuff. This comes in different firmnesses, and my dad’s occupational therapist added 10-15 beads so he can practice fishing them out. It’s just fun, but don’t get it on your clothes!
Gifts to Encourage Healthy Habits
Fun straws for drinking. This will make it fun so keep hydrated, which is SO IMPORTANT! Don’t forget a brush straw cleaner!
Water bottles with straws attached. It’s helpful to find a bottle that’s easy to grip and that won’t easily spill. I like this motivational bottle
Personal-sized blender to make nutritious smoothies for one. Packing in phytonutrients helps the brain and body of a person with dementia. Satisfy his sweet tooth with natural fruit instead of refined sugar treats! Add green veggies in for super brain power! Get the Nutri bullet blender here.
Gifts to stimulate His Mind and Entertain Him.
Audio books. Audible membershipl and let him or her choose titles.
Kindle books. You can make these books readable with very large print, which is helpful!
Classic games–ones they can remember well how to play–
- Connect Four. Get a big set of you can!
- Go Fish!
- Big Checkers
- Whatever games they’re used to!
Games are a great way to stay involved and to stimulate your loved one’s mind! Just quit if any frustration occurs, because some days will be good, and other days, they may not remember how to play.
My dad is a shark at Sorry! He’s very good and almost always wins! 😃
- DVD/subscription to watch her favorite programs. The truth is, that as Lewy Body people progress, they just aren’t able to get up and do as much as before. They get bored, and feel frustrated with their inabilities. If he/she has something that he/she enjoys, providing that will bring some enjoyable hours. Hand him a blob of the therapy putty to use while watching.
Gifts They Will Cherish
VISIT. SIT A SPELL AND TALK!!! You cannot put a price tag on this gift! It’s what he/she wants most of all!!
INVITATION to a friend to come visit! Play some music, reminisce, and share a meal. This will bring much enjoyment!
- Tell bad jokes
- Play music with or for him.
- Take him for a drive
- Give him a massage *see note below*
- Style her hair
- Make cookies if she can participate
- Color an easy picture with him
- Watch a show they remember. My dad likes Andy Griffith
- Take him out for a meal
- Push her wheelchair through the park
- Bring the grandkids and play Uno or build with Lincoln Logs (yes, the house will probably tumble down, but you want your kids to have sweet memories–only do these activities if it doesn’t bring frustration to your loved one!)
- Take a walk with her, complete with walker, and go at her pace. A wheelchair walk is just as fun!
- A Bidet. If you have questions, look it up. But it’s a fact that a bidet is one of the most useful tools you can purchase for a person with decreased motor function and declining cognitive ability. You will be helping the person directly to feel more dignity and cleanliness, and you will be helping the caregiver as well. Keep in mind that you will have to do some research. Bidets come from the very Simply designed models to some quite sophisticated models, which have plenty of bells and whistles, literally! You will have to determine what’s most important—warm water, air drying, a night light, etc I think somewhere in the middle would be sufficient to make the job easier and more pleasant, without breaking the bank.
Why Massage is so Important for People with Dementia
A note on massage for a person with dementia. This article discusses the need and benefits us using therapeutic massage for people with different types of dementia. Also in the article are recommended types of massage that specifically target the needs of dementia people. Some of these include, hand massage, back massage, and foot massage. Here is another article discussing massage for people suffering from dementia
Important to note is the fact that massage provides so much more than just sore muscle relief. Massage helps to decrease cortisol levels (stress hormone) which can lead to more relaxed feelings.
Massage can be especially helpful during the sundowning part of the day, as this is when cortisol levels increase in many people, and they can have many negative symptoms, known as sundowners syndrome. Massage can help to relax a person, leading to better sleep and more feelings of relaxation overall.
You just can’t take away the human connection aspect of massage. Massaging devices can be helpful for some aspects, but much of what brings such a sense of peace and relaxation from massage is the connection and touch that only a real person can give. ❤️
There you have it!
A ton of ideas for things to give as a gift to those with Lewy Body, or any other type of dementia!
- Book mark this page, and print out the list to make it easier.
- Please share this list with anyone who could use ideas.