Ok. It’s Christmas Eve and you’ve taken present buying down to the wire. Grab that coffee and read on for our ‘sure thing’ ideas and recommendations.  There’s still time, good luck.

Presents for the elder in your life

Favourite food and drink is always welcome but it can get out of control.  Last year Marj was nearly buried in milk chocolate.  Not that she minded.  All the same, type II diabetes is something to be avoided.

‘Smellies’ are welcome, though there is only so much hand cream one can get through in a year.  Stick to upgraded moisturising shower gel and shampoo in a favourite fragrance, it’s luxurious and genuinely useful.  Good quality body moisturiser is great, but bear in mind that some cosmetic brands are better suited to younger, dewy skin (ie useless for mature skin).  Marj isn’t always that fussed about facial moisturiser but her skin does seem more comfortable with a little Boots No7 and the facial massage is enjoyable.

If horizons have shrunk due to health issues, then bring luxury within reach.  New fluffy towels or face flannels combined with a soap upgrade in a favourite fragrance can bring new delight to washing.  Furry throws or a new blanket can feel luxurious and comforting on a lap or over a duvet.

Changing furniture and soft furnishings may be discombobulating, but the addition of new ready framed family pictures goes down well.  And if you find the perfect lightweight fine bone china mug with a large, easy to hold handle and pretty pattern, please let me know.  Marj would love it.

If you’re considering new clothes, check out post 16 for ideas, but you’ve missed the boat for home/instore delivery if you need presents for tomorrow.  This where our awesome independent high street stores will help us find the right treat, go seek.

Whatever you choose, take it round yourself and take time to stroll with, chat, play games or just keep company.  The best things in life really are free.

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Presents for the carer in your family

At this time of year, carers are usually skirting ‘frazzle’ due to organising a family Christmas and making sure caring responsibilities carry on uninterrupted.  And that’s if everything is going smoothly, eg no illnesses. All holiday periods are challenging since paid carers rightly need time with their families too. If they get any outside help at all, it’s likely the carer is doing extra shifts to cover absences.

What carers would love most is some time for themselves.  If you appreciate what the carer in your family does, show it and say it from time to time.  Above all they’d just love some time off.  So offer that.  When combined with a bunch of flowers / plant, even better but not essential.  Offer an hour, an afternoon, a night (woo hoo), a weekend (ooh the luxury) – they will all go down very well.  Please give generously!

Over to you – happy (last minute) gifting!

And to the carers who’ll come in over Christmas to help Marj and I – thank you very very much, I love you and appreciate everything you do x.

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PS When you have more time, you may want to check out Unforgettable, a great specialist online store for people living with dementia.

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