Appropriate christmas presents

strawberrywhip

Registered User
Jun 26, 2006
76
kent
Just wondered what sort of things people were buying for their relatives with AZ?
I was wandering round the shops thinking about some things that would give MIL pleasure..and found myself back ina toy and book shop..took me back to when my children were little. I found a wonderfully illustrated book of very familiar poems, and another beautifully illustrated book of two little mice in the snow ..minimal text but wonderful illustrations. It set me thinking about how difficult it is to find appropriate things for adults trapped by this terrib le disease, with minimal attention spans, but still good long term memories. I would have loved to find her simple books about familiar things she experienced in her childhood. I did find one book in past times with old adverts of soap powders..household goods etc which did interest her.
I also found some great simple Galt games which we will be able to play with her..animal lotto with lovely pictures..a great shopping game..with a trolley each a simple shopping list and pictures of all the items.,,, also very simple sequencing puzzle..only 3 in a puzzle of simple day to day actions...
oh and a game of pairs! We shall see if any of this interests her. My husband was a bit sceptical but I wanted to get her more than treats and the nurses ate the home hopefully will encourage her and others to play a few games!
Love to hear any other ideas.
 

strawberrywhip

Registered User
Jun 26, 2006
76
kent
Thanks Christine,
Got the cuddly animals..two in fact to add too the collection..1 delightful little teddy..and one of those rspb birds..a song thrush I think who twitters when you squeeze his tummy!
Its funny isnt it..I remember when she first developed AZ she started to cary around a little bear I gave her one day...and loves him still..also started to gather her little ornaments of birds around her in the sitting room and talked to them during the day. Needless to say they were the first things we packed for her when she went into placement.
 

Margaret W

Registered User
Apr 28, 2007
3,725
North Derbyshire
I delighted in the idea of books and toys. Mum isn't interested in ANYTHING AT ALL, and I mean it, and am repeating it, Mum isn't interested in ANYTHING AT ALL. So sad.

I was planning a photo album of all her relatives, including some very old ones (like great grandad cos I have found a photo she never knew about), but when I told her she said "Oh, I don't want any of that old rubbish".

So it will be slippers and nighties, and perhaps a new cardigan.

Nothing to stimulate her mind, cos she has never stimulated her mind. Only last week she declared that the newspaper she has been getting daily for 50 years did not have a crossword in it. It does. But mum has no interest in it. I despair.

Love

Margaret
 

strawberrywhip

Registered User
Jun 26, 2006
76
kent
Maybe Im being optomistic ..but I hope that these games might stimulate her interest. Sad isnt it..she is 83 and the ages on the galt box says 3 -5. I felt excited but also sad when looking round the toy shop because the experience is reversed..when your little ones are that age it is all about stimulating their potential, and knowing that you have everything to work for..now of course you have a cherished mum or MIL and of course these are landmarks she passed long ago..but now we are back there ..knowing that there is only deterioration ahead. I was in the shop for about an hour..and was aware that people must have wondered if I was a shop lifter because I just couldnt decide.... Very poigniant moments that suddenly creep up on you without warning.
I am an optomist and I was quite upset when my husband suggested the presents were totally inappropriate for his mum .. but there is still a spark there..and I think we have to nurture it. We are taking her to the pantomime tomorrow..seats booked int he front row..I know from experience any farther back she falls asleep..but if the dancing and music are around her she will get something out of it.
So Happy Christmas..and just make the most of it with our loved ones. Thanks for a great website..and to the wonderful people that inhabit it..we are all on the same journey.

(PS just a little insight .. MIL fell the other day and sustained a fractured pubic rami..no treatment just long slow rehab..with a zimmer frame for a while..very painful and very common. With my other nursey hat on I know of many patients whose EMI R/Homes will not take them back until they are fully mobile. and even consider placement in Nursing homes if they are not rehabing quickly enough.....our lovely Residential home took MIL straight back.and although she couldnt manage the stairs they found her a shared room downstairs.she is rehabing well with the nurses she knows and is far better off than being stuck in an acute hospital: I know I work in one)So three cheers for a sensitive home that puts their residents needs first. The matron said to me "she is part of our family and if she was at home you would get her back asap!) We love em. Three cheers for common sense.
 
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Kayla

Registered User
May 14, 2006
621
Kent
My Mum was still able to play dominoes with me, even though her eyesight became very poor and she enjoyed looking at colourful, illustrated books or ones with black and white photos of the past. She also liked textures and enjoyed her cuddly toys, ornaments and knitted blankets which had lots of different colours and wools in a patchwork. When she died, we left all her blankets behind in the NH, because the Matron said that they are always grateful for knitted patchwork blankets for the residents, as they soon get worn out as they are in constant use and are washed frequently.
Mum also loved her flowers and it is possible to buy attractive sets of containers, compost and bulbs or seeds at Christmas time. Mum appreciated watching her daffodils and Amaryllis grow in her room last year and I still have many of Mum's plants to remind me of her.
Another thing that Mum was very attached to and comforted by, was a Palm Cross, which she had on the wall above her bed. I gave this to a friend at Church for her terminally ill mother and it has since been passed on to another person who needed it.
Photographs and pictures of family, friends and pets might also be an idea.

Kayla
 

Natashalou

Registered User
Mar 22, 2007
426
london
We have bought:

A nightdress (probably will not be suitable despite our best attempts)
A nice pair of loose track suit style bottoms and matching top ( might almost be acceptable!)
A couple of nice tops (may well be "unsuitable" but we can but try)!
A hyacinth bulb in a see through glass for her to grow (dont know how this will be received)
A very large print puzzle book for children..(very hopeful on this one as the last was well received)
Drawing book and pencils (mum when younger was a very talented illustrator and can still draw despite sight problems)
A new pop up laundry hamper (this was actually to replace one that mum claimed had been stolen but it hadnt been)

Actually, in mums case I think its more just to receive something so she can tell other residents that she had presents..a lot have no visitors and no presents..I was very suprised at the NH Christams party there was only one other resident had a family there apart from me there for mum.
 

Tender Face

Account Closed
Mar 14, 2006
5,379
NW England
Well, we did think about a special hamper from a rather stunning deli ...... tempt to her eat a bit more? Or would we just find food stashed in odd places some time round March? Photos and albums? Well, as I rescued her wedding album yonks ago because she didn't need that anymore that didn't seem a good idea in mum's case ...... New crossword dictionary to replace the one she had worn out years ago? - but given she has not attempted a crossword for years I guess the old dictionary will suffice ...... New TV? Bad idea - won't be able to fathom a new remote control .......

It is horribly, horribly diffuclt - and yes, I have gone for the nightwear and slippers routine ....... things I know will be used and needed ........ I just hope she gets the pleasure from opening up her parcels ....... she will have forgotten what was inside them five minutes later anyway .......

Karen, x :(
 

Libby

Registered User
May 20, 2006
625
62
North East
Mum isn't interested in ANYTHING AT ALL, and I mean it, and am repeating it, Mum isn't interested in ANYTHING AT ALL. So sad.
This is exactly the same as my mum. Anything that we take in, ends up stuffed in her handbag or wrapped up in clothes and pushed to the back of the drawer. I took a Ponsettia in for her yesterday with a little musical xmas tree, which I hope will make her room look a little bit more festive. I also put her Xmas Cards on dislpay, but I'm sure that next time I go in nothing will be out and her room will look as it did almost 3 years ago:(

I'll probably buy her a calendar, simply so that visitors can write on it, and we know whose been in to see her, and can talk about them with her.

Very difficult indeed.

Libs
 

SusanH

Registered User
Oct 25, 2006
51
I really struggled with what to get my Mum this year. My Mum always loved crafts and was a very talented stitcher and knitter. Sadly she cannot manage the complex creations she used to produce.

I have got her a plastic box which I have filled with simple craft items - things to "do" as she gets very bored, but can't manage her old hobbies and finds it difficult to follow a TV programme or read a book. I have got her a selection of pens and colouring books (I went for mandalas as recommended on here) and some brightly-coloured card kits with things you can stick on. Everything is really simple, but pretty. I hope that, with a bit of help and encouragement, she might get pleasure from making and creating something. My mum is in the early to mid stages and has mixed dementia, but she is still at home and knows that she is bored and fed-up.

If nothing else I hope she will get pleasure from "sorting" the box and looking at all the brightly-coloured, pretty things. She regularly "sorts" her make-up box and drawers in the house, but I am not sure if she gets pleasure from this, or if it is just compulsive behaviour. She has a horror of anything that might be thought of as for children, so I have tried to be sensitive to that. A friend visited and made a Christmas cracker with her and she really loved that and was very proud of her finished product, so I hope her craft box will give her pleasure. My daughter is going to make a sign to stick on it "Granny's Craft Box" so she doesn't forget what it is for!

That's my idea, but I am new to this so I could have got it badly wrong. Only time will tell, but I think she will enjoy looking at all the items in her box and hopefully using some of them.
 

Libby

Registered User
May 20, 2006
625
62
North East
I think that's a really good idea Susan - I wish I could do something like that for my mum, but the AD has made her think that everybody is out to steal things from her, so she has to keep everything hidden away!

Libs
 

elaineo2

Registered User
Jul 6, 2007
945
leigh lancashire
Hi.just something i saw on T.V tonight,If you don't know what to buy,then geta token pressie and donate what you like to charity.good idea me thinks.love elainex
 

Margaret W

Registered User
Apr 28, 2007
3,725
North Derbyshire
Yeah, Libby, mum has had a number of christmas cards so far, opened and stuffed back into the envelopes. I suggested she put them on her mantlepiece, response What For they are just clutter. So much for my efforts to notify people of mum's new abode, and indeed two people from her old church have sent cards, so I asked if she wanted to return the cards, answer no.

Seems she is a different person now. I must get used to it.

Love

Margaret
 

poppet

Registered User
Aug 3, 2007
70
hi,
just had to post on here too!i kinda wanted to laugh and cry at some of the posts...

yes it is the inevitable slippers for us too!

it is so hard to know what to get. got an amarillas recently for mil birthday which i thought she would oooo and ahhh over but opened it and nothing???!!!:rolleyes: oh well!

also just wanted to share with all tp that my kids have been amazing throughout this year with regard to mil. they are 10 and 8 years old and are aware of the complexities that we are likely to face every time we go round and have been dealing with their nans perculiarities brilliantly:D

slightly off on a tanget but its christmas and i think we all need to acknowledge the good that comes out of the not so good.

merry christmas to you all

poppet
 

Peapod

Registered User
May 19, 2007
55
Pembrokeshire
I've just bought Dad a book of rugby trivia - he's an ex-England international and I know he'll recognise some of the names and faces in it.
His memories from those days are what gives him the most pleasure now.
 

Linda Mc

Registered User
Jul 3, 2005
1,881
Nr Mold
One of the things I have got Vic are DVD's of old comedy TV programmes. Just half hour shows.

On The Buses is one very old hat I know but many years ago he was a bus driver so may spark an interest.

Linda x
 

Lotti

Registered User
Jul 31, 2007
52
I've got mum new pearls (not real obviously) and a fancy nail file as she enjoys filing her nails and handkerchiefs for folding.
Lotti