Sometimes it’s tough to think of gift ideas for someone with dementia. Below is a list of ideas from the experts at CountryHouse to get you started. We encourage you to think about the person you love – consider their specific challenges (physical and/or cognitive), their likes and dislikes and what they will enjoy in spite of their condition. Although the best gifts are meaningful and personal, make sure you’re keeping their safety in mind with whatever you give. Some ideas below are indicated for early-stage or late-stage dementia.
- Clothing: look for things that are easy to care for and wash well that they can put on independently. Think sweatsuits, pants with elastic waistbands, sneakers with velcro and zip up cardigans.
- Hats and gloves – these are easy to anyone to lose and an abundance of both items is usually welcome!
- Memory aids – a calendar, a large clock, wipe-off message boards.
- Safe return bracelet or other system to prevent wandering.
- Night lights.
- A device such as an Echo Show or a GrandPad could be fun for them to tinker with and use to connect with family or friends (early-stage).
- A weighted blanket (early-stage), be sure it’s something they have the strength to move. Some find these helpful for managing anxiety.
- Games that are appropriate to the stage of dementia they’re currently in. Ideas could be playing cards, Yahtzee, checkers, dominos, etc.
- Puzzles. Consider the number of pieces and their finger dexterity.
- Tickets to a baseball game or other athletic event (early-stage).
- Admission to a museum or an event they’d enjoy such as a car show (early-stage).
- Books, especially those with large print.
- A tablet with a playlist of their favorite songs, audio books or games such as solitaire or hearts installed on it.
- A TV streaming service that features some of their all-time favorite TV shows.
- A short car trip, bonus if it’s to somewhere that sparks a memory for them!
- If they’re artistically minded, supplies that speak to that hobby, such as paints and brushes, pencils and more. Even an adult coloring book can be fun.
Gifts for those that are further along in the dementia process
- Anything tactile: soft blankets and pillows, stuffed animals, fuzzy slippers or socks, things that feel warm and comforting.
- Photo albums and scrapbooks.
- Lotion for hand/body massage.
- Visits from pets or comfort animals.
- Robotic therapy cats and dogs.
- Your time – sit with them, give an abundance of hugs and hold their hand.