The gift of time is always perfect for someone with Alzheimer's disease or dementia.

People going through this journey appreciate companionship and socialization because they feel isolated most of the time. Some examples of activities include taking them on a car ride, giving a soothing hand massage with scented lotions, involving them in holiday decorating and cooking or looking at photo albums together.

Additionally, this gift of time also would allow the caregiver some needed respite.

Personalized scrapbooks and/or adult coloring books are some good recommendations for gifts, and these types of presents would bring joy and stimulate dialogue with the affected person and provide activities to share with younger relatives, as well as promote some pleasurable reminiscing.

Other purposeful gifts are ones used in activities, such as toiletries, combs, brushes, easy pull-on clothing and sweaters, weighted blankets, handkerchiefs, socks or incontinence products. Additionally, you can purchase gifts that provide some mental stimulation, such as easy word searches, matching games, fidget therapy tools or a package of letter tiles to make words (like Scrabble).

For people accustomed to technology, there also are numerous apps specifically designed to stimulate the brain that can be downloaded on an iPod. Magic Piano, Pocket Pond, Flower Garden, Book of You and Lumosity are great apps, to name a few, to download for older adults and those with Alzheimer's disease or dementia.

Further, a special gift would be an iPod, in which you could download favorite songs on a playlist of his or her loved music.

For the caregiver, gift cards to nearby grocery stores, pharmacy or a place that delivers meals would be appreciated and valued. Additionally, on a more personal level, caregivers most likely would appreciate gift certificates for manicures or pedicures or a massage or movie tickets — things they can enjoy on their own or with a friend when they do get a respite from caregiving.

Lastly, you can also honor the affected person or their caregiver by making a donation in their name to a local charity. Though it is not a tangible gift, it is one that provides a touching remembrance for the family.

Questions about Alzheimer's disease or related disorders can be sent to Dana Territo, the Memory Whisperer, a volunteer ambassador with Alzheimer's Services of the Capital Area, at, or visit the organization at 3772 North Blvd., Baton Rouge.