What to buy someone with dementia? Finding a gift for a senior with Alzheimer’s or another type of dementia is not an easy task, but definitely manageable. It is a good idea to first consider what state of the disease the suffering person is before actually buying a gift for them. It’s fair to say that gifts for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients are the same since Alzheimer’s is a form of dementia.
Gift ideas for someone with early dementia and middle-stage dementia are not really different from the usual gifts for the elderly. They may include useful stuff like CDs with favourite music, medication dispenser, a photo album and so on.
In later stages of the disease, dementia gifts should be activity-engaging and sensory-stimulating. In advanced stages of dementia, it is also important to bring back memories.
Therapy dolls for dementia
Although many caregivers find dolls controversial, therapy dolls can help seniors feel useful and needed and give them something positive to focus on. Dolls are one of those dementia awareness gifts. Dolls can bring back happy memories of early parenthood for both women and men. Having a baby-like doll can ease feelings of sadness and isolation.
Stuffed animals can give a similar effect to the therapy dolls. Hugging something soft and fluffy helps someone with dementia feel comforted and soothed.
Sensory and twiddle toys
Sensory toys are designed for anxiety relief and to increase brain activity. The toy has a soft, cozy and fleecy fur and is an ideal for cuddling and stroking.
Sensory toys come in many shapes and forms, for example, a twiddle cat, twiddle dog or any other twiddle animal. It could be also in a muff-like shape – a twiddle muff.
Robotic stuffed animals are cute and cuddly and may look very lifelike. They may respond similar to touch to a real pet, but don’t require feeding or cleaning. Such pets are highly recommended gifts for dementia sufferers.
Activity boards can keep the elderly person occupied. It can be personalised, for example with the favourite theme or sports team.
Fidget quilts, fidget blankets and activity pillows
Something similar to activity boards, but softer. High-quality, padded mat straps onto any bed or tray, can rest comfortably on the lap. It keeps hands occupied and has many activities, which include zipping, fastening, buttoning and buckling. We find them one of the best gifts for elderly with dementia.
Heavy blankets are designed to be around 10% of the bodyweight to naturally relax the nervous system and reduce stress by simulating the feeling of being held or hugged.
Comfortable clothes, blankets or slippers
Cosy and comfortable things seem to be perfect gifts for mom with dementia. We want to keep our parents warm and relaxed.
Manicure – a voucher or home-made
If the lady in care always enjoyed having her nails done, a manicure is one of those good gifts for ladies with dementia. Whether doing it yourself or hiring professionals will be very pleasant. It will not only make the nails look nice, but also will be kind of hand massage.
Photo puzzles and large jigsaw puzzles
Good gifts for dementia sufferers could be also tiling puzzles require the assembly of often oddly shaped overlocking or tessellating pieces. Working on puzzles is very stimulating and nicely fills out time.
Brightly coloured tableware, tableware in contrasting colours – plates, cups and silverware
The ability to see colours diminishes with age, and people with Alzheimer’s often find it difficult to see the contrast, which can make it hard to distinguish a plate from a table setting, the liquid from its container and food from a plate.
It has been scientifically proven that In Alzheimer’s patients, red colour dining ware increases food intake by 24% and liquid intake by 84%. Although some scientists claim that the key is not the colour, but the contrast, it still seems to be fun and colourful gift idea and good dementia awareness gifts.
The researchers suggest that caregivers consider using high-contrast tableware to help people with advanced Alzheimer’s to eat and drink better.
Artistic dementia gifts
All kind of artistic activity is always good for persons with dementia. Art therapy can bring back the purpose of life.
There are plenty of artistic products to buy available on the market – brushes, paints, paper, etc.
There has been even a unique painting system developed for people with dementia. It’s called AquaPaint. The painted picture simply fades away when the water dries out. The system is fully reusable.
Seniors also like to make handmade projects, for example, cards or paper flowers. A cardboard petal templates or colourful crepe paper could also make good gifts for ladies with dementia.
Whatever gifts you consider as best gifts for elderly with dementia, please remember that it can be an important part of an overall dementia therapy regiment. Very often not the gift itself, but the fact of receiving it, unwrapping and the excitement of the surprise bring the happiness to the senior. The effort put in looking for ideal gifts for mom with dementia is definitely worth it!