12:27PM, Thursday 23 December 2021
A Windsor care home is offering a dementia gift guide to help families buy gifts for those living with dementia.
Greensleeves Care, which operates local care home The Manor in Old Windsor, has recommended a number of new products and aids for people living with dementia.
Gifts to help around the house include dementia clocks, stove alarms and motion-activated memo reminders.
For people living with dementia, time can become muddled, and this is often exacerbated by the increased daylight hours in summer.
Specialist clocks will often have the day of the week, as well as morning, afternoon, evening, or night written clearly on the face. Some clocks can also be programmed to give reminders, such as ‘take your medication.’
People living with dementia often struggle to remember small things. Stove alarms are sensors that attach to the stove or oven, and they sound if either becomes too hot, or has been left on for too long.
This is particularly helpful for people who are still living independently but just need a little extra help.
Motion-activated memo reminders can be placed around the home so that, for example, if a person living with dementia goes to leave the house, the device will sense their movement and read a message aloud, such as ‘don’t forget your keys.’
These can be recorded with loved ones’ voices for an added personal touch.
Another recommendation is sensory gifts, such as sensory cushions, weighted blankets or realistic pet toys.
cushions, or blankets, will have a range of different attachments designed to stimulate the senses, such as bells, different-textured materials, rings and ribbons, anything you can think of.
Alternatively, you can make your own.
Dementia and Alzheimer’s can lead to disturbed sleep patterns, often caused by anxiety or agitation. Weighted blankets can alleviate anxiety symptoms through what is known as Deep Pressure Therapy.
Weighted blankets vary in size and weight, and most providers’ websites will offer a guide to the right blanket.
Realistic pet toys, such as dogs or cats, can be particularly comforting for animal lovers who are living with dementia.
These toys are often battery-operated to look as though they are breathing. These can bring back happy memories to people living with dementia who perhaps kept pets their whole life.
There are also many websites that allow you to create photo albums, calendars, or items like blankets or mugs using your own photos.
Particularly if your loved one is living in a care home, it can really help to comfort them in between visits from family and friends to be able to see their loved ones’ faces all around.
This sort of gift can also help to trigger happy memories and provide a sense of familiarity.