Shopping for someone with Huntington’s disease can be difficult, dads birthday and Christmas gift ideas always stump me. I always want to get something practical, something he needs and can obviously use. One Christmas I got dad an entirely new hot press, I mean all new towels. How exciting!! In the early years when he wasn’t to symptomatic, we got him a box of beer and took him for a meal or something simple. As dad was on benefits and obviously wasn’t earning, I wanted to spend the money on sensible things he could get the use of as the years went on. I have compiled a list of some gift ideas for those buying presents this Christmas for Huntington’s patients. Gift Idea 1) – Clothes
I always thought clothes was a particle present, as dads symptoms progressed we found that jeans were too hard to manage, with his weight going up and down it seemed like nothing ever fit it properly. So I found that having some clothes in a different size range, dads weight went from a well-built male with muscle to an XXL and now he is a medium. As I said jeans became an issue as they never seemed to stay up, braces worked for a while but after that, I decided it was time to put my father into tracksuit bottoms. It was more comfortable for him during the day as he was chilling at home most of the day. We got him simple cheap tracksuit bottoms for during the day and then more expensive ones which looked better for when he was out and about.
These were the type of bottoms I got dad, they were cheap and if they got destroyed I didn’t care!! I liked that they were tight at the bottom, I felt like it would help prevent him tripping.
These tracksuit bottoms we for when dad went to the day centre or town, if we were taking him away for the day and he was in his suit etc, I would have a pair of these handy! I didn’t always buy expensive, I would bargain hunt and always be on the lookout for deals. Dad went through a lot of bottoms, due to washing them so much etc I just liked them to stay fresh looking. I personally love Canterbury as a brand for tracksuit bottoms! I have a couple of pairs and can’t wear them out, I find they wash really well! Although when buying ladies, I go up a size! Gift Idea 2) – Practical household items Another gift idea is things for the house, so I got dad all new towels one Christmas as his were nasty! Dad lived at home, alone for eight years, we rented his house and carers went in to help look after him. During this time I did three major redecorations on his house. In-between this time I got him gifts for the house, picture frames with photos I found in my mum’s house. Ornaments which I thought he would like and practical things like tea towels, bath towels, kitchen appliances and other handy items for the house he might need. I believe one year he got a bin for the kitchen. Through the year I always kept an eye out or picked things up as and when I saw them, general household stores, pound shops and other places which sold anything for the house and had a sale on. If like me you decide to redecorate or are buying new photo frames etc, check out Groupon for vouchers on printing photos. Gift Idea 3) – Memories with a meal Making memories is the most important thing, one year Ryan and I took dad to our favourite restaurant for dinner. Dads eating abilities were deteriorating and when we were sitting down to dinner he was struggling to cut and eat his meat. Pushing my plate to one side I cut and fed daddy his meal, and he loved it. My dinner was cold and I didn’t eat a lot of it because I don’t really like eating cold food, but it was worth it. Dad was comfortable in this restaurant because they knew him for years and knew my family; the people sitting around us had known our family for years. He was amongst friends, he wasn’t worried about people staring at him.
Although eating out might be difficult, your loved one may like getting out and doing something that used to be ‘normal’. Gift Idea 4) – Music Dad always loved to listen to music; he had an amazing CD collection and an even better record collection which I now own. I remember daddy always had a massive 4 disk CD player. I would be cleaning the house or playing as a child and always reached for one CD, Smokey. For those of you who don’t know who that is look them up on Spotify. Try looking for something that can play music for your loved one, If they are able to use headphones (dad wasn’t a fan) plus he didn’t need them because he lived in his own house and wouldn’t be disturbing anyone. We got dad a new CD player, it picked up a lot of radio channels and he still uses it in the nursing home, I honestly can’t remember how long ago we got it. After a recent visit with dad, he has very little CD’s and some of them were scratched. So this Christmas I will be getting home some new country CDs.
Gift Idea 5) – Mighty mug – doesn’t spill So I saw this online the other day, actually around Black Friday as they had a buy one get one free offer. I think these mugs would be amazing for someone with early stages in HD, this mug according to the creators doesn’t tip over. Remembering all the time’s dad spilt a mug of coffee, this would have been a lifesaver.
I have actually purchased one of these mugs and you will find a video on my #imnotdrunk facebook page.
https://themightymug.com/ Gift Idea 6) – Wet and dry shaver As dad’s movement got worse, he looked like some animal attacked him when he shaved. God love him he tried but would come out of the bathroom with tissue paper all over his face, or would miss chunks down his neck. Then I had the best idea!! An electric shaver!! Even better, a wet and dry one, which meant if he accidental stuck it under the tap, it wouldn’t be ruined. These can be bought in many places, and aren’t expensive, I think we spent about 50 pounds on dads. It’s still going and is in the nursing home with him, although I think he is due to get a new one!!
I hope this post has helped some of you with the last of your Christmas shopping if you have any ideas which you think might help people please leave them in the comments!!
Try to remember what the person liked before Huntington’s Disease set in, depending on the person symptoms. My daddy goes to a day centre every Friday and there he can use the computer with assistance from the staff there. He sends emails to friends, this was extremely nice when I was at University getting an email from daddy. Think about a tablet and spending time with them skyping friends or sending emails.