Keep it Curious: 8 Mindful Christmas Gifts For Elderly Parents

Memory loss can be a difficult situation for anyone. Often it can feel like an inescapable situation for seniors as they age. However, it is possible to help those you love to solve this problem by finding Christmas gifts for elderly parents. Many people are starting to lose some memory capabilities and who need help staying on top of their daily life. This act can help your loved one stay active and healthy late in life.

The following eight presents are designed to help improve a senior’s memory skills and to make their lives easier. They are perfect for the senior in your life who wants to live as independently as possible but who may need a little memory care help. They will make this year’s Christmas as memorable as possible.

1. Puzzles Can Improve Cognitive Functioning

If your loved one loves doing crossword puzzles or putting together jigsaw puzzles, a collection of them can be a major benefit for their mental health. That’s because puzzles have been shown to help promote better blood flow to the brain.

This increase in blood flow helps make your senior’s memory sharper and more flexible to new information. While it might not fight full memory loss, it can help stave off some of the symptoms of mental stasis or inertia.

Even better, it can help them master new problem-solving skills that they would have otherwise ignored. It also taps into their memory for different words and can even improve their pattern recognition abilities. All of these cognitive benefits are huge because they can help your senior enhance their mental capabilities in a simple, yet effective, way while having fun.

2. Yoga Classes Help Promote Better Blood Flow

Exercise is something that all seniors should try to get into their lives. Obviously, those with limited mobility should try to find routines that meet their abilities. However, many yoga stretches can provide the senior in your life with the memory-boosting exercise they need.

For example, even simple cat and cow poses can help get their blood pumping. Classes in yoga can also help improve your senior’s memory by teaching them new routines and keeping their mind active. If they own a DVD player, you can also purchase discs of exercises that they can play every day.

This gift is a good idea for the active senior who is suffering from the earliest stages of dementia and memory loss. It can help keep these early stages from becoming too severe by providing your loved one with a streamlined and efficient treatment.

3. Large-Print Books Keep Seniors Reading

Reading is one of the most important ways that your senior can stay mentally active. It requires a lot of focus and concentration and works multiple areas of the brain. Promoting an active reading life in your senior can add years to their life and slow down the progress of their dementia and memory loss.

Large-print books are an excellent choice because they are usually more comfortable for seniors to read. Talk to them about what kind of books they enjoy and then buy ones that catch their interest. For example, many seniors enjoy reading the Bible or Reader’s Digest magazines. There are typically several large-print options for each of these books.

If necessary, get them a subscription to their favorite magazine and deliver it to them. In this way, you can read together or interact in other positive ways. Try to find articles that interest both of you and discuss them with your loved one. This action will help keep them active mentally.

4. Medicine Reminders Help Avoid Med Errors

One of the biggest dangers that affect seniors with memory loss is med errors. It is easy for them to forget if they took their medicine and what meds they have to take. That’s where an electronic medicine reminder comes into play. These tools are designed to sound an alarm when it is time for your seniors to take their medicine.
They also open up automatically to dispense the proper medication to your loved one. Many of these items are even hooked up to the phone line so that your doctor can control them or set the alarm system. This connectivity is crucial because it can also alert the doctor if your loved one fails to take their medication.

As a result, you or a medical professional can then take steps to ensure that your loved one gets proper care and medical treatment. Seniors who miss essential medicine doses could end up suffering from severe health problems that could affect them for years.

5. Pre-Dated Calendar’s Keep Them Ready for the Year

Seniors often rely on calendars to remind them of important dates, such as birthdays and doctor’s appointments. A senior with an active and healthy memory will be able to fill out their calendar without special help.

However, those with more advanced dementia and memory loss may need you to fill out the calendar for them. When filling out a schedule, make sure to include all the dates that your senior would find valuable. These typically include birthdays of family members, anniversary days, doctor’s appointments, holidays, and important events at church.

In fact, it may be a good idea to find a calendar from their favorite church. These are usually already filled out with relevant religious events and will help your loved one stay on top of social activities. Seniors with an active social life typically have better memory skills because their cognitive skills are so engaged talking to people and remembering important information.

6. Labeled Photo Albums Keep Memories Alive

One of the saddest parts of memory loss is seeing your loved one slowly lose memories of you and other important people in their lives. While this moment is obviously sad for you, it is doubly troubling for your senior. They usually understand that their memory is failing but can’t figure out what they have forgotten.

That’s why labeled photo albums are such a blessing for seniors with memory problems. They provide a reminder of moments in a senior’s life and help them keep track of important people. Make sure that this photo album includes recent pictures of people with whom they interact with regularly.

These pictures will serve as an essential memory guide to these important people. For example, they can help a senior know their caregivers on sight and avoid the kind of confusion and agitation that can make their life so difficult. This benefit is also crucial for caregivers because it keeps them safe from senior anxiety.

7. Organizers Keep Everything in Order

Seniors in the early stages of dementia may benefit from a personal organizer. These gifts help them write down what they need to do in a day and stick to it. They are usually small enough to fit in a pocket or a purse and have many pages that your senior can use.

If necessary, you can write down their daily activities for them to keep them focused. In specific organizers, you may also be able to find simple memory games that help promote stronger cognitive skills in your senior. For example, Sudoku and other simple puzzles keep the brain active and help fight some symptoms of memory loss.

More importantly, they let your senior have fun and experience a little joy later in their life. Studies have shown that seniors who enjoy their life are more likely to live longer and also suffer less memory loss.

8. A GPS Unit Streamlines Travel Situations

Last, but not least, a GPS unit can be a major benefit for your loved one. First of all, they can use their GPS unit to get to places in town that they may be struggling to remember. For example, you can program their doctor’s office, favorite restaurants, shopping malls, and grocery stores into the unit. They can then simply say or type the name of where they want to go to get directions to these locations.

Another benefit of GPS units is that you can use them to track the movement of your loved one. Those with Alzheimer’s and other forms of severe dementia may need this tracking to keep them safe.

For example, you can see if your loved one has wandered away or driven somewhere that isn’t safe for them to be visiting. You can then find out where your senior has gone or call emergency authorities to take care of them if you cannot reach them soon enough to help.

As you can see, these Christmas gifts for elderly parents provide you and your loved ones with many benefits. They benefit you by allowing you to feel comfortable leaving your parent alone. And they help your parent by giving them the independence they crave. It is a win-win for both of you.

However, if your loved one’s memory keeps slipping, then they may need more specialized care. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if your elderly parent needs our care. We can help give them the service they need to live the happy and healthy life that they deserve in their twilight years.

Categories: Care Giving Tips and General Information.

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