Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Mother's Day Gifts for Dementia

My 91 year old mom has dementia.  She's had it for about 7 years but this last year has seen her greatest decline as she is not able to clearly communicate.  In thinking about what to get her for upcoming holidays, i.e. Mother's Day, her birthday, etc., I am sometimes tempted to even skip it.  But I've realized that even in her 'diminished' state, she STILL reacts to 'instant gratification'.  By this I mean that while, yes, she may not remember that you gave her a gift two minutes ago, her reaction WHEN she receives the gift is often one of great pleasure.  Also, think about this.  Since she has very little long or even short-term memory, each time you show her the gift, it's as if she's just received it!  Her reaction days, weeks, even months towards an item is often like she JUST received it!  So my advice . . . don't skip the events . . . celebrate!  So what are some things I have given or will give her?  Every dementia/Alzheimer's patient is unique and still has unique likes/dislikes so you have to first determine what makes THEM happy.   Here are some things to consider:

 What is their favorite COLOR?
My mom has ALWAYS loved PINK! When we take her to get her nails done -- pink.  When we take her shopping and give her clothing to choose -- pink.  Jewelry -- pink.  You get the picture.
What is their favorite food?
 My mom LOVES ICE CREAM!  Taking her out for ice cream or buying ice cream treats for her to enjoy at home -- it doesn't matter.  She just takes great pleasure in ice cream. A few years ago I put an Ice Cream Sundae kit together for her! And can you believe it -- her doctor had the nerve to say her cholesterol was a bit high and to cut out the ice cream?!  Not happening -- let her enjoy we said!
Are they mobile or transportable (i.e. using a walker or wheelchair)
 Mom loves to go to the mall.  I know she doesn't really understand any of the stores or what's going on most of the time but it's the sights, sounds and change of scenery that she loves.  So maybe just an outing where you are totally focused on them and giving them an hour or two out of the environment they are in day after day.

 We always have to stop by the jewelry, sun glasses and perfume counter.  By the time we leave, you can smell us from a mile away haha!
 
What types of activities do they enjoy NOW (not necessarily what they enjoyed BEFORE)
 Up until a few months ago, my mom could work a large piece puzzle with a lot of guidance.  Mom NEVER liked puzzles or arts and crafts but for about a year, she loved both!  She also enjoyed simple games like Bingo and coloring. She can't do any of these any more but for awhile, they helped. You just have to keep trying things and learn to let go of the things that have changed.  
What types of things CALM them (music, warm/soft blanket, 'fidget' cloths, certain foods, certain t.v. shows)
 I bought this super soft, fluffy (and of course PINK) blanket for her -- she loves snuggling up in it.  For Christmas this year I bought her an electric throw -- she uses it every day, even now because she's always chilled.  I also put a lot of her favorite music on a small media player with some comfy, lightweight headphones.  When she's agitated, this sometimes soothes her.  Remembering that the shows she watches over and over and over and OVER are always new to her.  It's okay!
You have to learn to find the humor (and there IS often a lot with her) in situations.  She LOVES watching the old Billy Graham crusades on T.V.  -- but she always comments about how GOOD they all look -- that they haven't aged a bit.  We just agree and smile . . .
What things help preserve who they USED to be (certain 'signature' clothing items, manicured nails, makeup, jewelry) 
 My mom ALWAYS wore earrings, rings, etc. every single day of her life so we try to keep that up even now.  We have replaced her valuable rings with costume jewelry but she doesn't mind.  She also always had her hair done.  Her hair is very thin now but she still gets it done each Friday.  I did buy some wigs for her though because her hair doesn't stay in place very long.  The wigs are an easy fix.

So this Mother's Day, l know that I'm not alone in the 'dilemma' of what to get a mom with Dementia/Alzheimer's.  I think that as with all gift-giving, the GIVER often gets as much or more than the RECEIVER so . . . I'll just keep on giving her gifts in the hope that it will give her some pleasure while I have the fun of trying to THINK of things to give her pleasure!

On any given week (depending on how busy I am!) I love to participate in Link Parties.  These gals put a lot of time and effort into hosting these parties so I always want to show my appreciation by directing my readers to these blogs. 


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Homemade & Handcrafted 

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Vintage Glove Box and More

I'm trying NOT to stop at garage and estate sales since I've been downsizing/cleaning out the house in recent months BUT I stopped at an estate sale today after church and since it was the last day, everything was half price. This wooden box caught my eye but it wasn't priced and I didn't know what it was.
 I bought it and the rest of my stash for a total of 10.00.  I think the box was 3.00 by itself.  I loved the design! When I got home, I did some research and found that it is indeed a glove box from the early 1900's.
 After more research I found that these were often sold as 'kits' and ladies would purchase the wood burning tool and create/decorate these boxes to be used for gloves, hankies and ties.  Some kits allowed you to color parts of the wood as well.  The outside of this is pretty but when you open the lid and see the intricate details (not exposed to the 'elements') it really is quite stunning.
I normally don't mess with vintage items but I think I may take a little wood polish and go over this to cover the scratches.
Along with the box I found some pretty linens, some to use in my kitchen and some to keep in my "gifts stash" or I'll be able to also use some at my teas.
I'm always amazed at how ladies MADE their dish towels and decorated them so beautifully! I don't think I can bring myself to USE these . . . they will just hang in my kitchen!
I'm always on the hunt for vintage holiday linens and LOVED this heart tea towel.  
 Not a single crooked stitch . . . amazing!  I noticed something though as I turned the towel over to see how neat the stitching was on the back . . .
Crazy!! The stitching only goes through one layer! I tell you there is not a GLIMPSE of that thread anywhere on the back of this towel.  Mine would have looked like it was splattered with red thread on the back!  Something else I love is vintage earrings.  These were all in a bag for 3.00.  I do actually wear the earrings but I also love decorating with them, slipping them into and on pieces in vignettes.
And finally (probably one of my most favorite finds!)
The lady threw this in for free.  I decorated my husband's office in a vintage travel theme so this is going to go in there somewhere.  I guess back in the day, you didn't have RESERVED seats on a flight.
And airports were called 'intermediate stations'?? And call me a cynic but, what's to stop someone from just moving your card??  I guess people were more polite back then!
Did any of you hit a jackpot this weekend?

On any given week (depending on how busy I am!) I love to participate in Link Parties.  These gals put a lot of time and effort into hosting these parties so I always want to show my appreciation by directing my readers to these blogs. 


Monday

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Thursday

Friday
 


I'VE BEEN FEATURED!