Birthday/Christmas Presents

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by sony, Oct 30, 2006.

  1. sony

    sony Registered User

    Hi everyone,

    I'm not sure if this is in the right forum or not, if not please feel free to move it!

    It's my Granny's 76th birthday in 10 days, and then of course Christmas is only around the I'm wondering if any of you would have a good idea as to what to get an alzheimer's sufferer for birthdays/christmas? We can't think of anything that my Granny would be able to do. She barely has the concentration to watch TV these days never mind anything else. Normally all she gets is some sort of sweets or biscuits, but we're trying to cut back on that as her weight is a bit of a problem.

    I'm sorry that this is such a stupid question but I would love to get her something that would be able to stimulate her, or at least interest her. Any suggestions would be greatly received!

    Another thing, we got the Alzheimer's society Christmas catalogue a while back, I was going to order a few things out of it, but I'm wondering how much of the money (if any) goes to the AS? There is a bird watching box in it that I was going to get my Grandad (he is getting more and more confused), you attach it to the window and put some food in it for the birds to go in to. I think he would like it, but I would like to think that some of the money would be going to the Society. Any info?

    Thanks, take care

  2. BeckyJan

    BeckyJan Registered User

    Nov 28, 2005
    My husband is 77 - and for any older person it is difficult to know what to get for pressies as they usually have what they want. However I am thinking of getting together a 'memory' book together - something like a photo album but with other bits and pieces within it so that he can look at it and hopefully it will bring back memories and he can talk about them. I am especially going to put in things relating to his past achievements. I think it is good to make them feel 'important' and successful. Just hope it works but who knows!!

    Does Granny like feminine things - eg pretty hankies, bag to put her bits and pieces in. ? Music - tapes etc. (Our son in law did a download of the music David likes and I think he liked that although he does not recognise it as a 'present'.).

    Does she likes books? even just with pictures of places she has been to. We were told to get jigsaw puzzles - it works for some but not for my husband.

    I am sure you will get lots of good ideas Good luck with them. Beckyjan
  3. varbell

    varbell Registered User

    Oct 4, 2006

    Hi Sony :)

    It Isn't A Daft Question I Tend To By Things To Wear Like Nightdress Or With Winter Coming On Maybe Some Nice Warm Tops. A Memory Book Is Also A Good Idea So She Can Look At Old Photos And It Will Back Memories For Her. Varbell
  4. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    SW Scotland
    Hi Sony

    Like Beckyjan, I find things to stimulate the memory the best presents. The most useful is a CDROM that a local photographer has made of to local area. It's brilliant, it works like Internet Explorer. I can use it with John, or even set it up on my laptop for his Crossroads carer to use with him.

    If you can't find anything similar, there are lots of books of old photographs around. Do you have a local Family History shop? They're a good source of material. If not, ask at your local library, they'll know what's available.

    Well done for making the effort to research your present.
  5. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    NW England
    Hi Sony

    Hi Sony .... I live by the doctrine the only silly question is the one that isn't asked..... ;) and thank you for voicing the question probably zillions of people are worrying about.....

    If it's any help I'm planning Christmas for mum to include the intangible rather than a token tangible..... lots of photos of the event ..... much as our 'zoo trip' for mum's birthday (74) earlier this year.... nothing to 'keep' except the photos and any memories she can recall of the day......... a sense of fun and love, and yes, escapism, .... even if selfishly, it's so that I, rather than she, won't forget it.....

    Love Karen, TF, x
  6. Nutty Nan

    Nutty Nan Registered User

    Nov 2, 2003
    Dear Sony,
    Anything soft and furry might be welcome, but your choice will obviously depend on your grandma's condition: is she aware of her surroundings, is she able to concentrate on a picture book or would she react to music that brings back memories?
    I have purchased some interesting resources from a mail order company called 'Winslow'. They have a comprehensive catalogue and good customer service:

    Best wishes.
  7. Michael E

    Michael E Registered User

    Apr 14, 2005
    Ronda Spain
    A friend has just given Monique a - hot water bottle - with a specially built - created cover - really cuddly and friendly. She was using it during the day - but last night for the first time, as it was getting a little chilly, I filled it and put it in bed with her... For the very first time in months she stayed in bed. Did not call out and I did not have to go upstairs 6 or 7 times before she settled..

    It is possible that 'hot teddy bear water bottles' are the secret weapon against night fears and scared to be alone... Could be the perfect present as well.. we all want warm cuddles sometimes..

  8. BeckyJan

    BeckyJan Registered User

    Nov 28, 2005
    What a lovely idea - is there a masculine edition or do you think David would respond to a Teddy Bear (yes I think he would!!!). Maybe there is a Thomas the Tank Engine edition - will look when I 'try' to do Christmas

    Sony: I hope you now have some good ideas for pressies!
    Best wishes Beckyjan
  9. janed

    janed Registered User

    Jul 28, 2005
    the only thing mum seems to be interested in recieving is a packet of her favourite biscuits, custard creams, anything else she just looks at then puts to one side and never talks about or looks at again, but custard creams are recieved with a huge smile and a lot of excitement even though she always has lots in her biccy tin! I am sure people think i am a bit odd when they ask what to bring her and I reply custard creams but she does love them! also she likes a book of paintings of the area (cornwall) it has just a bit of wrtiing on each page and lovely pics, maybe something like this would be nice. jane
  10. cynron

    cynron Registered User

    Sep 26, 2005
    east sussex

    My husband has been taking a wheat bag that is warmed in the microwave to bed for a long time now. He looks for it at bedtime and it has become a part of his bed time ritual:cool: he even takes it to bed on hot summer nights:eek:

  11. Cate

    Cate Registered User

    Jul 2, 2006
    Newport, Gwent
    Hiya Sony

    I've just started a photo histroy book for my mum. Bless, she had my poor old dad moving 11 times in my life time. So I have been going around taking photo's of all her old homes, and for the period that they were living in each, I have included photo's from that time in the book.

    It's a real nightmare to know what to get, I just thought it was something personal to mum to go along with the usual cardi and chocs!
    Happy shopping
  12. sony

    sony Registered User

    Hi everyone,

    Thanks so much for your replies!
    The photobook idea has come up quite alot, I am a photography student and have made up a Photobook for my other (paternal) grandparents showing their family history for their 50th wedding anniversary, but neither of them have alzheimer's so appreciated it more. However, I don't think this would be suitable for my Granny...? We did get a big clip frame and put all their old photos in it, she noticed it at the start but passes no remarks on it now. I took the photos at my Grandad's 80th birthday party a few years ago and put them in an album, my Granny wasn't at the party as she wasn't fit enough, but I took the photos out the other day to show them to her and she didn't recognise anybody (her own children, grandchildren, etc) so I think it upset her a little?

    I used to get her scented talcum powder, etc, but as she no longer knows how to wash herself and has it done for her, this is no longer required? Although I suppose I could still get it and ask the carers to put it on for her?? I was considering a jigsaw but I don't think it'll work? My Mum got my granny a colouring in book but she didn't know what to do with it.

    Tenderface - I have a funny feeling that this Christmas may be the last one that my Granny has, at home at least, so we want to make it special, so I will be taking lots of photos! My Grandparents normally come to our house for Christmas dinner, so I'll photograph that then when they go back to their own house I'm going to take photos of their visitors, etc, probably, as you said, more for our own memories than hers......

    Nutty Nan - My Mum has considered getting my Granny a doll or teddy of some sort, but has not as of yet, I think mainly because it would remind her of the nursing home where her aunt was - they gave all the women patients dolls and they thought they were real babies. My granny is always asking where the children are and saying 'shh, you'll wake the baby' so perhaps a doll or teddy would only exacerbate that?

    MichealE - My granny has took a hot waterbottle to bed for as long as I can remember, we always got one too when we went to stay!

    Janed - Food also seems to be the only thing that interests my granny. She is a bit overweight but I think it is mainly because she doesn't remember that she has eaten and eats again within minutes of finishing!! My grandparents could have tea after tea after tea! I have bought her a box of fruit jellies for her birthday coz she loves them, but I want something better for Christmas!

    Both my Granny and my Grandad are constantly asking what day it is, I saw a clock that had the day and date on it in a local shop but when I went in to look at it, the assistant informed me that you have to change the date manually, which isn't much use! Anyone know where you can get an automatic one??

    Thanks for all the suggestions and good luck to everyone with their Christmas shopping!!

    Take care,
  13. Sabato

    Sabato Registered User

    Jan 18, 2006
    Clocks with dates


    try Boots or Argos.

    Also the maker, Oregon does some good ones. Quite big aswell.

    Happy hunting!

  14. sandy25

    sandy25 Registered User

    Nov 30, 2005
    Dear Sony,

    i know exactly how you feel - i'm finding it really difficult to think of things to get dad to keep him occupied.

    I did the photo album thing too not so long ago, spent days putting it together. But it was gut wrenching when we looked through it because (although he didn't make it obvious) I could tell he was wondering who people were. And to be honest, I don't really think he was interested.

    He can't do jigsaws either. He loves music but can't work any device needed to play it (last year I bought a personal CD player but he couldn't work the buttons) I think at the moment its just DVD's (so that mum can put them on for him) and books.

    But it was great to read this thread coz it did give me a few ideas - thank you everyone!
    Hope we both find something suitable!
  15. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    NW England
    This may sound horrible....

    Many here must be wondering about Christmas (or any other significant religious or other festival/anniversary) and whether it might be the 'last' (cognitively or otherwise for the 'sufferer') and how best to mark it / celebrate it.......

    Sony's thread is a lovely one - and one I will be keeping an eye on for ideas - but dare imagine, as a carer, this is your last Christmas or whatever ... - for whatever reason - what would you wish for all of those you love - and especially for yourself - whether in similar or very different circumstances?

    Then start planning what you might wish for others....

    Just a thought....

    Karen (TF)
  16. Nell

    Nell Registered User

    Aug 9, 2005
    Have you considered flowers?? I know they don't last but a beautiful bouquet or display from a florist can bring a lot of (admittedly fleeting!) pleasure. Perhaps you could include a bottle of champagne in / with the flowers to share with Gran on Christmas day . . .??? Nell
  17. Dina

    Dina Registered User

  18. sony

    sony Registered User


    Thanks for that link, I'd already found that company - they are looking £113.00 for that clock!! Which is a little bit steep, do you not think? There was an O.T out with my Granny the other day and my Mum mentioned the clock to her and she said 'I should be able to get you one of those', we thought this was great, but she posted us out a photocopy of a catalogue (Viking Direct I think) which showed a clock for £59, which is better than £113.00 but still expensive. Can't seem to find anything cheaper than that. Have even tried Ebay but any of the ones they have are manual (i.e - you have to forward the date each day - which is a bit pointless!!) Thanks anyway, if you find anywhere cheaper, let me know!!

    Nell, the simpliest ideas are sometimes the most effective, Granny doesn't drink but I could still get the champagne for the rest of us!!

    We're going to take my Granny out for lunch for her birthday next Saturday, this will be the first lunch outing in years, so we're a bit apprehensive about it, but I'm sure it will be fine!! Fingers crossed!!

    I'm going to video Planet Earth tonight for my Grandparents to watch tomorrow, they like wildlife programmes, but my granny seems to think that everything on the tv is real and in 'her living room', so I hope she doesn't think the polar bears have jumped out of the tv and joined them!! Dunno that it'll keep her occupied though, as I videoed a local prog that was on last week that featured her nephew but as I said 'there's Niall on the TV', she said 'Where?' and got up to go out to the front door to look for him!! Dear, dear!

    Anyhow, better go, thanks so much for all the ideas!! Take care!

  19. Michael E

    Michael E Registered User

    Apr 14, 2005
    Ronda Spain
    I have very bad news to report.

    Contrary to my previous post, teddy hot water bottles are not a total panacea... In fact their 'cuddle/help to get to sleep effect' wears off very quickly.. So sad.

    Just wanted you all to know this before you all rushed out and purchased one for your sufferer.

    Life can be a bitch!


  20. Nell

    Nell Registered User

    Aug 9, 2005

    Oh Michael I'm sorry to hear that. I hope you managed to enjoy your night (or two??) of better sleep??

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