Gifts to buy for someone with dementia

Choosing the perfect gift can be a really difficult task at the best of times, but this becomes even harder to choose when the recipient has Alzheimer’s or dementia.

When dementia is in its early stages, buying a present can be straightforward… buy as you normally would choose to buy, based on what they  like or enjoyed in the past. However, when you begin to notice that they have become more forgetful and disengaged into the early stages of dementia, you may need to think  more carefully.

Some gift ideas for people with dementia

  • Music CDs are a good choice, as these can be very soothing and relaxing and if your relative has particular favourites, can bring back memories. You can even look for sing-along music for fun entertainment for you both.
  • A new digital radio with easy to use pre-set channels is also a good choice, so they can tune into their favourite channels easily.
  • DVDs allows your older relatives to watch some classic movies, or old favourites,
  • which can also be very stimulating.
  • Jigsaw puzzles and memory games also make great gifts, as well as new interactive games, which they can play on a  tablet, such as Angry Birds or Candy Crush.
  • A tablet is a fantastic present, which will become more and more useful through the progressive stages of dementia. There are many great apps out there for dementia to download onto the tablet choose from with plenty being free too. HERE are our top apps for dementia recommendations.
  • A digital photo frame with rotating family images, or a ready filled photo album with names underneath will be fun to look through and chat about together, acting as a great memory stimulus.

More advanced dementia

Once your relative moves into the middle stages of dementia, gifts are likely to be more practical, but they can still be attractive.

  • A clock with clear numbers on it and ideally, showing the date too.
  • A pre-loaded easy-to-use memory phone will give you both peace of mind. You can also get voice-activated phones.
  • Indoor light sensitive automatic lighting can be very pretty, but has the added benefit of helping to  keep the home safe as it darkens outside.
  • Arts and craft materials can be used in so many ways to create simple cards and paintings.
  • A day out to visit gardens and have afternoon tea will be enjoyable, although this will depend very much on how your relative with dementia can cope. HERE are some suggestions for days out.

Later stages of dementia

As dementia progresses sensory presents can be very comforting.

  • A soft fleece blanket or pillow.
  • Soft toys are often really appreciated and loved, as well as being a great comfort.
  • Adaptable clothing. When buying presents we shouldn’t forget the personality of person that we are buying for and what they like. So if your elderly parent always looked smart and loved new clothes and jewellery, then look for the colours and the type of things she liked to wear, even if the clothes may need to be a bit more accessible with easy openings. There are some lovely accessible styles available online.

Buying presents may become harder as dementia takes a stronger hold of  your family loved one  and these presents may not be appreciated in the same way that they used to be,  but it is always lovely to give and receive and this should not change just because of dementia; it may just need a little more thought.



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