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Ideas for Xmas gifts for younger ladies with AD


Registered User
Oct 12, 2007
Hi, Can anyone offer any advice on what I can get my mum for Xmas? She has early AD but on the decline, she is 55, no real hobbies, no real passion for clothes, music, books etc anymore but I want to get her something that is relevant for her at this stage. I know it sounds like a silly thread to start but I am really stuck.

Any help anyone can offer would be appreciated.

D :)


Registered User
Jan 31, 2004
near London
Hi DianeG

there is no easy answer at all.

When I was at this stage with Jan I changed my pattern of present giving. I decided that the best gift I could give would to make each minute of each day as good as I actively could for her. The best thing I could give was my time and energy.

I carried it as far as stopping work for 6 months.

Sounds trite, doesn't it?

It didn't always work, but at least I know I did my best.

There are so many things I would have given her - so many that I did, and that were forgotten immediately after.

Perhaps - and I do hope so -someone else can be more helpful. :(


Registered User
Oct 12, 2007

Thanks for your advice. Time and energy are probably the most valuable to her - I fully agree with you. I feel like I am full of excuses on that front all too often because I work full time with 2 hours travelling each day and have a young family.

I am going to take your advice and try to find an activity that will be special at Christmas time for her - even if it is forgotten quite quickly afterwards. The look on her face at the time will be priceless and memorable forever for me.

Thank you so much.


Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
If you search for gifts you'll find several threads - here is one to get you started http://www.alzheimers.org.uk/TalkingPoint/discuss/showthread.php?t=7897&highlight=gifts

One thing I would caution you about - probably not a good idea to spend a great deal of money on "technology" gifts. After my mothers strokes (which among other things affected her eyesight) I purchased several 'speaking" products including this http://www.amazon.co.uk/PURE-SONUS-...1?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1193694795&sr=8-1

I'm not saying it's not a great radio and I enjoyed it when I visited, but it wasn't much use for her.

Many people speaking highly of memory books and photograph albums.


Registered User
Jun 6, 2007
I have the same problem with what to get John (it's also his birthday at Christmas). It's pointless getting anything "new" as he would never be able to work it. Not sure I can give any more of me, what little energy I have left over goes to the children.
All I have managed to come up with is to bake some fancy biscuits etc. and some pull on trousers.
Hopefully will come up with a few more ideas as both sets of families rely on me to buy their gifts as well!


Registered User
Apr 12, 2007
north east uk
Christmas gifts

Hi DianeG
Like yourself my mum is in the early stages of AD and is 60.Also like your mum, mum has no hobbies,interest in smellies,clothes etc, so she has always been difficult to buy for. This year I have bought her a beautiful silver photo frame which is engraved with the words, My Family, and there are spaces for 6 photos which i will fill for her. Also my husband has found a website that makes personalised calendars. As mums illness progresses, a calendar is something that is used frequently in their house, so we are buying mum one with a picture of the family for each month. Mum's only interest has always been her family so i think she will treasure these gifts? Only a suggestion but I hope it may be useful to you,
Love Jackie x


Registered User
Oct 12, 2007
Thanks everyone for all your great ideas.

Jackie - like your idea a lot. I am now thinking about going to Build_a_Bear and making a special bear for her with a recording of my voice and her grandsons voices to play each time she hugs it. I know she'd love that. I have also got some lovely photo frames and old and new pics of the family to put in them. I am glad I raised the question - I think many of us were thinking the same thing.

I am also having my mum over to mine for Christmas as that is where she relaxes most and she tends to join in conversations better in a 'safe' environment.

Everyone be positive and make christmas extra special for their loved ones.

Diane x


Registered User
Dec 28, 2005
My wife who has retained her wicked sense of humour says it is great because she can go out with me and chose her own Christmas present but it is still a surprise for her on Christmas morning!!


Registered User
Oct 6, 2007
Hi DianeG,

We did this a couple of years ago, for my late mother-in-law, my late father and for my mum.

Well, our idea was that we should never grow up. So what we did was a stocking. We filled it with lots of fun things and useful things. All the parents were delighted and they also found it great fun.

This year with mum, we are going to do the same, and fill her stocking with lots of wonderful things that are just for her, and one thing I am putting in there is a Frys Chocolate cream, because she loves them.

It is a real fun thing to do.


Michele xx


Registered User
Oct 5, 2007
Suffolk, UK
awww David that is so sweet - it made me cry!

I would like to add my experience of photo scrapbooking. I am a keen photo scrapbooker - not least for preserving those precious memories! I made my mum, who has early onset AD, a small photo scrapbook, using a few different photos at various stages throughout her life. I decorated each page and labelled each photo. Mum's key worker at the hospital goes through this with her, as do I when I go to see her, and the look on her face is wonderful! I now teach people scrapbooking techniques and am really hoping to be able to do this with my mum once she is settled in her new NH. I know you said your mum has no specific hobbies, but I have found since my mum has had AD her interests and tastes have changed, as her SW said could happen. Maybe this is something you could actually do with your mum?

I am loving the bear idea - am definitely going to look into that!

Take care, Kerry x


Registered User
Apr 26, 2006
I'm afraid i cannot offer anything positive to this debate at all.

The whole concept of present giving and receiving has gone for Jean, in fact, it really is a cause of concern for her.

She is unable to comprehend what is going on and bursts into tears because something is happening that she cannot understand but presumably feels she ought to understand.

Christmas cards are torn up as they arrive through the door, Christmas gifts are only opened after coaxing and then immediately discarded.

She and, consequently, I would be much happier together in an isolated cottage where it could all drift by without any special celebrations except a rum soaked cake and a brandy soaked pudding.

Sorry, not looking forward to it all this year.


Registered User
Jul 31, 2007
Dear Grommitt,
Like you I am not looking forward to Christmas this year it being the first with Peter being in N.H. in the last stage. When you have 4 young grandchildren who are use to us being with them - it is a case of "It won't be Christmas without you there". So I will spend the day with the children as I would not like their memories to be spoilt at Christmas, as it is without Grandad on their birthdays.
Take Care. christine


Registered User
Apr 12, 2007
north east uk
your build a bear idea sounds great! I was thinking it may be an idea to get your mum to record a message so that when she's in the later stages you and your family will have that precious memory of your mum?
jackie x


Registered User
Oct 12, 2007
Update on xmas pressie hunt


I thought I'd update you all my shopping for the right gift for my mum. I bought her a key ring which has a rather large end on it in the form of a purse. It is great becuase hopefully it will ensure she never loses here keys again (she does it often) and it also has a pic of one of her fav stars - Cliff Richard.
I also went yesterday to build-a-bear and me and my son picked a bear, stuff it, kissed and placed a heart in it and recorded a special message just for her that she can hear over and over by pressing the bear's paw. A lovely wee outfit completed the gift. It was emotional recording it for my mum and I am not sure there will be a dry eye in the house when she opens it on Christmas Day. I am sure it is just perfect for her.


Registered User
Mar 7, 2004
Diane, what a lovely suggestion.

I have 'done' the bears with my two grandaughters, but I think is a perfect pressie for just about anyone with dementia. Of course the personal special message would make it perfect.

Thanks for the idea.

Kate P

Registered User
Jul 6, 2007
I really like this bear idea - mum loves teddies that talk and it would be nice if the message was from us and her grandaughters - where are these bears from?

(Can you PM me with the info if we can't put it on the forum?)

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