It’s not always easy choosing a gift for a family member or loved one. But if your friend or family member has dementia or Alzheimer’s, it can be extra challenging. Choosing the best gifts for dementia patients can depend on the person’s hobbies and interests, but there are some other things to consider as well.
For instance, how progressed is the disease? What is their level of memory and recognition? Do they enjoy reminiscing about memories and the past or does this make them confused or upset?
When considering the best gifts for dementia patients, always take into account how mild or severe a person’s dementia is. You can also consider the person’s personality and interests to help you make the best selection.
If someone has more advanced dementia or Alzheimer’s they may not always remember or recognize things. Their personality might also be different than what you are used to. In this case, creative or sensory gifts could be helpful for them and provide some entertainment — like this radio and music player that is simple to operate.
2. Snake Plant
Plants are a great way to not only brighten up a space but make it more relaxing. When we’re in nature, or have natural foliage around us, it decreases cortisol and lowers our stress. A plant is a perfect gift for any occasion.
The best gifts for dementia patients are gifts that are designed specifically for them. This coloring book is a creative gift that they can use for self-expression, but it also includes helpful information and activities you can do with your loved one.
Does your friend or family member love games? Help them keep busy with an easy word search that can be completed even by someone suffering from dementia. These word searches are easy to read, with large letters and familiar words. Puzzles like this can help to keep their mind sharp.
Another option is this dementia-friendly game that aims to help with dexterity and coordination. The object is to guide the marble in the track to the end of the maze. Thoughtfully designed specifically for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients!
If your family member is having trouble remembering people, names, or places, you could try a photo gift that helps stimulate memories. Use a classic photo album or a digital one likes this. Include pictures of family, pets, and special moments to help jog memories and happy emotions.
For a patient with early-stage dementia, try some of these helpful gifts for organizing and planning, such as a reusable monthly calendar that can be hung on shiny surfaces.
Or an extra large digital clock that tells the day of the week, time of day, and the date. This can help keep anyone on track, but especially someone with early-stage Alzheimer’s or dementia.
Consistent exercise can be very helpful for people with early-stage dementia or mild cognitive impairment. It gets the blood moving and helps stimulate the brain which could help slow the progression of the disease.
Another way to encourage exercise and physical movement is by gifting some light weights to someone with mild dementia or early-stage Alzheimer’s. Even lifting one pound dumbbells can help build strength and dexterity.
Another great option for a sensory toy is this tactile toy for more advanced dementia. This toy provides tactile stimulation to help with fidgeting. It also serves as a soft, calming pouch that they can hug and sleep with. Designed specifically as a calming aid.
People with dementia face a number of challenges. Through thoughtful gift-giving you can make their life easier and more enriching. One way to find the best gifts for dementia patients is to consider their interests. Another way to find the perfect gift is to find out what types of activities they are able to do now based on the stage of their dementia or Alzheimer’s.
Whatever you choose, be patient. Someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia may not appreciate your gift right now, but perhaps another day they will find it more enticing.