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She is 89 yo. She has dementia and is in a Nh.She can feed herself and dress herself. She doesn't like anything. Especially she doesn't like anything I give her. Her room is very small and some of the residents steal her stuff. She doesn't like knick knacks. She can't use gift cards. She doesn't like my cooking or my baking. I thought of making her some choc chip cookies, but I know she wouldn't like them. She won't read magazines or do puzzles and no books either. She won't wear the clothes I buy for her. Candy or cashews are out b/c of her teeth situation. Nothing for her room would be right. She can't write letters so stationery is out. Jewelry is out she has tons of it that she never wears. I thought of some nice soap until I cleaned out her house and saw all the nice soap I used to give her, still sitting in the cabinet. So I am at a loss. No matter what I buy her or make for her or give her it is wrong. In fact, I am wrong, wrong, wrong. Please help me.

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Brandy, a Lawrence Welk cd or dvd is a great gift. My Mom cant walk or talk or barely see but loves the old music. I bought her Milestones and Memories Lawrence Welk DVD and put it on for her a couple of times a week. I also then got some CD's I play for her, Elvis, Willy Nelson, and Christmas music. Good Luck
PS warm fuzzy blankets are nice too, the touch they love
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Veronica91, I do not resent the POA. I am trying my best to get along with her, but she resents me. It is the other way around. Just wanted to clarify that.
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I think the picture book is a great idea. My husband has dementia and he does enjoy looking at old family pictures. Even though he might not know the names of the people in the pictures, he is happy to look at them. I will be getting some children's plastic tools for him this Christmas. Since he was a mechanic and is always putting things in his pockets, I'm sure he will enjoy handling familiar shaped items. He really doesn't have the concept of Christmas, but I still want him to have something under the tree.
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Dear Brandy, I was asking the same question and my Mother is in the almost exact situation. I don't even know if she even understands that Christmas is coming up. She scoots around in a wheelchair, needs minimal assist. with most activities, is still very vocal - but pleasant. She has more clothing than she knows what do to with. Theres not a thing I can give her like soaps , perfume etc. not even sure she would know what to do with those things and shes just dosen't seem to be able read, do puzzles , watch TV unless she has assist..or guidence. Eating seems to be her only pleasure. I just don't think anything special needs to be done for the Holiday per say at least for my Mom ,she just dosen't have any connection to a particular day. With Alz. /Dem. they live moment to moment. My Mom still remembers my cooking and some of the things she likes so I'll embrace the few things she likes and remembers and try to make those moments count . I did alot for X-mas for my daughter and my parents up till 2010. I Baked, decorated, shopped nothing elaborate or expensive. Guess it is something that I was brought up with - celebrating the Holidays.I enjoyed doing and giving to my family. Aug 2012 my daughter left unexpectly, moved to another state (she was 18 at the time) our relationship is still good but her situation is not something I think is healthy but thats another story. Then at the end of the month of Aug. ( the same year) my Dad was diag. with N-stage cancer and at the same time my Mother was diag. with dementia. Basic I felt I lost both my Parents at the same time (Dad passed 3 wks. latter.) Embrace what what u know pleases ur Mom however big or small, its not about the day be it a holiday or not . As I tell myself its time to move on focus on myself and if u have other family/friends focus on them. I haven't quite got there yet, the last yr. me for has been quite tramatic .I had alot of things to deal with and it all happened so quickly. I just now have started to do some baking ,haven't done that in almost a yr.. I give my goodies to my neighbors, and co- workers and of course my Mother. Brandy , make the Holidays something for You . For your Mom, its not about the day of the week or what Month it is or what holiday , its just that particular moment. Every moment is something new . I just know that even though I can't really celebrate a holiday per say with my Mom , My Mom is is in a excellent facility, she is thriving, they take her out on outings, she has the social contacts she needs, she is safe and well cared for. She has the peace & content she hasn't had in 40 some yrs. Even though I physically couldn't give her all those things, I was able to protect her and find her a place to give her those things making her last years the best possible. Happy Holidays to you and have the best and happy moments with your Mother.
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Sorry you are between a rock and a hard place. Maybe the POA who you seem to resent could take on this taske. Stop torureing yourself, sometimes there just is nothing you can do but make brief visits to check that she is being cared for properly
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I would bring my 4 grandchildren in for a "high tea" at the nursing home. My mom is 92, dementia, same thing, but does have lucid periods. Byerlys is giving away a little magazine with lots of recipes for little tiny breads with nutritious stuff on them. You can make a big deal out of it. Ask to use a conference room and put a pretty tablecloth on and set the table nicely with plates of tiny little goodies. Top it off with bubbly "kid champagne." That way, at least your grandkids will get to see their grandma. And I'm betting she will enjoy the interaction between the kids. Nothing puts a smile on my mom's face like a child.
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Thank you for the all the good suggestions. Tonight I made her a batch of choc. chip cookies. Also I bought her some cookies. And I am giving her a picture of her newest great grandchild. I am happy with my selections. Thanks everybody.
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How about some talcum powder - my Mum loved it. Or maybe a nice nighty, hot water bottle - or even a cuddly toy !! Does she like music? A radio can be 'company' for the elderly.
Please don't despair Brandywine, - sometimes the only gift you can give is love.
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I am putting together a scrapbook for my mom for Christmas. Inside is our family tree, her high school diploma and some college homework, a page for each family member with photos and memorabilia, pet pictures, poems, maps, and hand written memories. It allows my creative side some play time and it's fun reminiscing plus I am learning more about our family history. Hopefully, mom will enjoy it as much as I do.
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I like the idea of a picture book that you create yourself with shutterfly -- it can be of loved ones, or even favorite places she once loved (a school, a store, church, her childhood home, etc.). The other thought is a homemade video or snapshots of places, people, things, birds, pets, etc. that you can load on one of those digital frames that continuously rotates the pictures. Get a big enough screen so she can see it. You might not get the recognition you are hoping; but it might be something she can enjoy.
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My mil is in good health but in a memory support unit in AL, and for her first Xmas there last year I bought her a small (about 12" high) Xmas tree from QVC. She loves it and has kept it displayed all year. It's preset to go on at a certain time, and turns off automatically 4 hrs. later.As the lights get dim we replace the batteries since she finds that too confusing. It acts as a nightlight for her. I suppose you can say this is a knick knack but it does serve a purpose. Another idea is a flameless candle on an automatic timer, or a seasonal decoration for her door. I no longer give her gifts of food, since she "saves" the cookies, nuts, cake, etc. too long and they get stale and go uneaten. This year I will get her some nice scented soaps since she buys the cheapest generic soap when she takes trips to the dollar store, etc.
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I was thinking of getting my Mom a Hallmark recordable book -probably "All the Ways I Love You" and having my daughter record it if she can. You read the book and it records your voice and then they can play it back anytime they want. I think you can add words, like their name and your name but not sure.
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Maybe she would enjoy a soft stuffed animal. Something she could stroke or snuggle.
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She wouldn't know, but I would and so would the POA who monitors my every step.
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I would make her a small book of pictures and people that are dear to her so she can look at it when she is lucid. If her dementia is severe, will she even know whether you gave her anything or not?
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It's a remembrance so it doesn't have to be the gift of the century. Last year was my Mom's 1`st in an AL for memory care. She is often chilly. So I gave her a cardigan sweater. She thought that was a great idea!. After she opened it and admired it, I put it in one of the drawers of her dresser where it wouldn't be used. Guess what her gift will be this year. The same blue sweater! Other thoughts: Some interesting socks, hand creams, face cream you can help her use during visits. If she likes flowers, how about a nice artificial flower arrangement? (no watering, no dead flowers!) What items does the NH provide? Liquid soap? You can probably get her a nicer one. PJs? Happy shopping.
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Thank you for the good suggestions. She is too far gone to leave the NH. She wouldn't understand a pedicure. A nice restaurant would be out of question as well. I will probably make some choc chip cookies.
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My MIL with dementia loves being taken for a pedicure. The nail technician drew flowers on her big toes and she just adored looking at her own feet.
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If she's allowed to leave the NH, how about a quiet dinner at one of those beautifully decorated restaurants? Lights of different colors, the ambiance. Sounds magical, doesn't it? It can be.

That's where I used to take my mother when she least expected it. I'd put a corsage on her wrist, open the door, pull the chair, and let her order whatever she wanted. (Last time we "dated" she wanted the waiter. I was mortified, but hid it well.)

Make it special. Give her a precious memory.
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I totally agree-I wouldnt waste my time. My only suggestion would be put money into her fund that she has at the nursing home and then if she has the need to buy something the money is there for her. Otherwise dont fret about it. My narristic mother is the same way-family is down to giving her money, which she dont need and to me giving money is boring and a let down in buying gifts for someone
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Brandywine, why do you feel you must give her something for Christmas? Is that for your sake more than it is for hers? It doesn't sound like getting a gift from you would make her happy, and if it isn't to make her happy, what is the purpose of bringing a gift?

If she owns something that she really likes but it is wearing out, getting her an exact duplicate (if that is possible) might work. Otherwise, I think I'd skip it.

Instead, what about bringing treats in for the NH staff? Fulfill your own need to do gifting that way.
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