Old age and dementia can constitute a difficult and often painful time for both the person affected and their relatives and family. Therefore, to make this difficult time a little more pleasant for the elderly person, we should remember to express our love and provide them with positive emotions! And gifts are a great way to convey both! So, if your loved one with dementia’s birthday or Christmas is coming up, or you just want to pick a gift for them without an occasion, be sure to read our article, in which you will find as many as ten ideas for gifts for dementia patients, as well as learn what to consider in order to choose the best gifts for elderly with dementia! Let’s get started!
What to consider when choosing gifts for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients?
For starters, consider what stage of the disease the person is in and only after that, start scouring the shops and the internet for gifts for people with dementia. Gift ideas for early and middle-stage dementia are not too different to the usual gifts for the elderly, so if you are looking for a gift for such people, consider their interests and hobbies first! If the person is into music, give them a CD of their favourite artist, and if they like reading or solving puzzles, they will surely enjoy a book or crossword puzzles! You could also opt for a practical gift such as a new walking stick, medicine dispenser or walking aid.
The trouble comes when we have to choose gifts for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients in advanced stages. Here, gender is not important, so a present for an elderly woman in this condition will not differ from those for a man. What is crucial, however, is to make sure that the gifts for dementia patients in that stage are engaging and stimulate the senses, or evoke memories. In both the early and advanced stages of dementia, it is worthwhile to find appropriate activities for the patient, to engage them, spend time with them to alleviate the symptoms of the disease, or try to preserve for as long as possible what the disease has not yet claimed, such as manual abilities.
Top ten gifts for dementia patients
Below, we have listed what we consider to be the ten best gifts for dementia patients that will please anyone! Go ahead and grab some inspiration!
Sensory and twiddle toys
First on our list of the most useful gifts for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients are sensory toys. Products of this type are designed to relieve anxiety and increase brain activity. Such a toy features soft, cuddly and squishy fur and is ideal for snuggling and stroking. It is a nice and practical present for elderly woman or man in the late stages of illness.
Activity boards can keep an older person occupied for a long time. They can be personalised, for example with a favourite film theme or sports team. These are interesting and useful presents for people with dementia that support their cognitive development.
Fidget quilts, fidget blankets and activity pillows
The other useful gifts for dementia patients, in our opinion, are fidget quilts, fidget blankets and activity pillows. The high-grade, padded mat, which can be attached to any bed or rested on your lap, keeps hands busy and includes lots of play activities such as fastening, unfastening, moving different items around thus supporting motor skills and brain performance. This is one of our favourites when it comes to best gifts for elderly with dementia!
Photo and large jigsaw puzzles
Tile puzzles that require assembling often oddly shaped overlocking or tessellating pieces can also be great gifts for people with dementia, as working on puzzles is highly stimulating and pleasantly time-filling.
Family photo albums or videos
Besides brain-boosting presents, other excellent gifts for dementia patients are ones that spark memories. So, if you want to remind your loved one with dementia of their relatives, give them a family photo album or make a family video that they can watch.
A wonderful present for elderly women, but not only! Everyone, even at an advanced age, likes to feel special and cared for. So why not treat an elderly person with dementia to a day at a real or home SPA?
Everything to do with art
Manual activities, such as embroidering, colouring, drawing, painting by numbers or sculpting in clay, soothe and enhance motor skills! Thus, they are great presents for people with dementia! However, remember to match the field of art to the person’s interests and abilities!
Colourful crockery and cutlery
It has been scientifically proven that red dining room colours increase food intake by 24% and fluid intake by 84% among Alzheimer’s patients. While some researchers argue that the key is not the colour, but the contrast. No matter which option we lean towards – contrasting, colourful tableware is still a fine idea for gifts for dementia patients!
Therapeutic dolls for people with dementia
Although controversial, therapeutic dolls can help seniors feel useful and needed and give them something positive to dwell on. Dolls can evoke fond memories of early parenthood, and ease the feeling of loneliness.
Stuffed animals have a similar effect to therapy dolls. Snuggling something soft and fluffy can help a person with dementia feel comfortable and soothed.