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The Ultimate Gift Guide for Someone with Dementia

Gift shopping for our loved ones with dementia can be challenging. 

But as with any gift-giving opportunity, it just takes some creativity and thoughtfulness.

Your gift should first take into account the individual interests of your loved one. You can choose a gift for some fun and stress relief, a gift that is helpful with their daily routines or activities, or one that is both fun and useful.

This guide will help you find the perfect gifts for someone with dementia through a range of ideas based on your loved one’s unique interests, activities, and joys.

Where to Find Gifts for Someone with Dementia

Depending on how you approach gift searches, you may be wondering where you could find items tailored to your loved one with dementia.

The good news is that many items can be found at your usual shopping destinations, including puzzles, paint sets, or cozy socks and blankets.

If you prefer shopping locally, ask the store clerks whether they have any items they recommend for those with dementia or Alzheimer’s. 

Either they will have some great ideas, or you will bring to their attention another need in the community.

Discover Unique Gifts Via Online Shopping

If you are struggling to find gifts at your usual spots, there are online shops dedicated to gifts for someone with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. 

A broad search for “gifts for dementia” in your browser will bring up dozens of shopping options. Searching for the term on Amazon will also show a wide range of gift options such as sensory items and games.

Gift Categories Based on Individual Interests

As our loved one’s dementia progresses over time, the activities they once enjoyed may begin to change. Sometimes, we can adapt to this by providing simpler options. Other times, we may need to try new activities altogether.

Gift-giving for those with dementia or Alzheimer’s may take some trial and error, but fortunately there is plenty to try. If your loved one isn’t interested in a gift right away, they may later decide to try it another time.

Use these gift categories and ideas to find a gift your loved one can enjoy.

Games and Puzzles

In addition to just being fun, games and puzzles also exercise the mind and can provide a sense of accomplishment.

Look for the following types of games and puzzles for your loved one:

  • Wooden block puzzles
  • Simple, colorful puzzles with 12 to 36 pieces
  • Picture card games
  • Animal bingo
  • Memory games
  • Simple crossword puzzles or word searches
  • Checkers or dominoes

Remember to tailor the level of difficulty to your loved one’s stage of dementia. Puzzles that are too difficult may be frustrating.

Creative Outlets

If your loved one enjoys expressing themselves through art, music, or movies, encourage their hobby with the following gift ideas:

  • Portable radio or MP3 player
  • Painting kits
  • Audio books
  • Modeling clay
  • DVDs of favorite movies, TV shows, or concerts
  • Simplified crafting kits for projects they used to enjoy
  • Picture books
  • Wooden play tool kits

Brainstorm ways to make previous cherished hobbies into a more accessible, simplified form they can continue to enjoy.

For example, you can find toy sewing kits or tool kits that bring the same hands-on satisfaction but are easier to use.

Useful Household Items

Daily household items might need an adjustment for those with dementia. 

Check out these items to help your loved one navigate their day:

  • Large digital clocks or calendars
  • Talking alarm clocks
  • Smart speaker
  • Big-button remote controls
  • Big-button phones
  • Exercise tools

How can their most-used daily items receive an upgrade? What would make daily life simpler? Keep this in mind as you shop.

Cozy Gifts

Cozy gifts are a must for those who experience depression, anxiety, restlessness, or sleeplessness. Any gift that can calm their mind and boost relaxation is a great gift idea.

Consider these cozy gifts for your loved one:

  • Weighted blanket
  • Heated blanket
  • Fluffy slippers or robe
  • Essential oil diffuser
  • Stuffed animals
  • Stress balls
  • Plants

Any objects that might bring peace and calm to their space can be helpful.

Gifts to Aid Reminiscence

Reminiscence therapy can be an effective aid to help those with dementia remember events, people, or places from the past. This type of therapy engages all senses in order to recall these memories.

These types of gifts might aid with reminiscence therapy:

  • Scrapbooks or photo books
  • Digital picture frames loaded with photos
  • Conversation prompts
  • Customized calendars
  • Memory boxes filled with cherished items
  • Decade memory books

Recalling cherished memories can be a soothing and positive activity to boost your loved one’s mood. 

Sensory Gifts

Along with cozy gifts and reminiscence gifts, sensory gifts are another tool used to help those with dementia focus, relax, and calm down.

The following are some sensory gift examples:

  • Fidget blankets or pillows
  • Pop-it toys
  • Squishy stress-relieving toys
  • Busy boards

Many sensory items can be handmade, so if you enjoy crafting you can create some sensory blankets or pillows for your loved one.

How to Help a Family Member with Dementia During Holidays

Any holiday can be an extra stressful and confusing time for our loved ones with dementia. 

These gifts can help soothe and relax your loved ones. Be sure to allow your loved one the quiet space they need away from any holiday visitors.

When sharing gifts, keep the process simple. 

Don’t overwhelm your loved one with dozens of gifts to open. Give one or two gifts for them to open and enjoy in a safe, quiet space where they feel comfortable.

If you notice your loved one struggling, consider how a memory care community can help provide the level of support they need moving forward.

How Memory Care Communities Support Those with Dementia

The right memory care community can provide the safety and comforts of home along with a full spectrum of clinical support.

Communities such as The Kensington Reston provide assisted living and specialized memory care to support those with dementia and their families.

Two Memory Care ‘Neighborhoods’ Match Your Loved One’s Needs

In a peaceful, cozy “neighborhood” that matches the needs of your loved one, The Kensington offers security, medical care tailored to your loved one’s unique needs, and plenty of time for fun activities and socialization.

In a community setting, your family is free to simply enjoy the presence of your loved one, while all their needs are comfortably met. 

Picture bringing your loved one’s gifts to them in a quiet, cozy room where they are surrounded by cherished photos and family items.

Reach out to The Kensington Reston for any questions you have in regards to memory care and how our team can best support your loved one and family.

Our Promise is to love and care for your family as we do our own. We are here for you every step of the way as you transition your loved one to memory care.

Photo by Vlada Karpovich from Pexels

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