elderly women People with Alzheimer’s disease walk a difficult road, and their caregivers, especially family and close friends, do not have an easy journey, either. The holiday season is a perfect time to show appreciation for them, and to present them with something special that will ease at least part of the burden they carry. Asking the caregiver/family members about what might be appropriate is a good idea. Also, here are some gift suggestions from the Alzheimer’s Association (ALZ, and the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA,

Simple things. On their list of suggestions, the Alzheimer’s Association includes, soap on a rope, a long-handled shower brush, a pretty night light, or non-stinging shampoo. These might not seem glitzy, but they can be much appreciated because they make personal grooming easier.

Art supplies and music. Where memory fails and self-expression becomes problematic, time spent in creative activities can sometimes bridge the gap. Your gift of brushes and non-toxic paint, or a recording of music that can evoke a time when memory was more intact, along with the time you spend together with the person with Alzheimer’s can enrich both of your lives.

Clothing. ALZ recommends easy-to-remove clothing in comfortable, machine washable fabrics, slipper socks with non-skid soles, leg warmers, and a brightly-colored cardigan sweater and possible clothing options that are also comfortable.

Pictures from the past. A personal photo album that includes family, friends, vacations and other treasured times, is a wonderful gift and can be enjoyed with the person with Alzheimer’s and the whole family.

Time. “The greatest gift you can give a caregiver is the gift of time,” says Carol Steinberg, President of AFA. “Volunteering to visit someone with Alzheimer’s so that a full-time caregiver can get some respite and take care of their own health, or even just take a walk, knowing their loved one is in safe hands is an incredible gift of kindness.”

For more information on Maureen Pratt check out: and her blog here on Beliefnet.

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