41 Perfect Gifts for People with Dementia – DailyCaring


Thoughtful gifts for dementia patients are sure to bring joy and delight this holiday season

Wonderful holiday gifts for seniors with Alzheimer’s or dementia

We’ve rounded up 41 of the best gifts that are perfect for seniors with Alzheimer’s or dementia.

There are ideas for people at all levels of cognitive ability – fun and engaging games, gifts that comfort anxiety and soothe agitation, and activities that give a sense of accomplishment.

We bet there’s something here that your older adult will love.

 

Browse 7 categories of holiday gifts for people with dementia

To make it easier to browse these gift ideas for people with Alzheimer’s or dementia, click these links below to jump directly to one of the categories on this page or keep scrolling to browse the full list.

 

Simple-to-use technology gifts help seniors with dementia stay connected

5 innovative technology gifts that keep them connected

1) From $45 Amazon Echo Show “Alexa” voice assistant with video calling
The Amazon Echo Show is an Alexa personal voice assistant with a video screen. It’s similar to the Echo or Echo Dot, with the addition of a video screen.

To make video calls without your older adult needing to take action to accept the call, use the Echo’s “drop in” feature.

There are several types of these devices at different price points based on screen size, camera quality, and release date:

2) $100 Amazon Echo (4th Gen) “Alexa” voice assistant with voice calling
This hands-free, voice-controlled device makes voice calls, plays music, gives weather reports, reads the news, answers questions, tells jokes, reads audiobooks, checks sports scores, and more. 

Set up the “drop in” feature to make voice calls to people who aren’t able to actively answer a call. Find out more about how Echo can help people with dementia.

3) $35 Amazon Echo Dot (4th Gen) “Alexa” voice assistant with voice calling
The Echo Dot is the smaller size, more affordable “little sibling” to the Amazon Echo.

It can do everything the Echo does, but has less powerful speakers and microphones.

Set up the “drop in” feature to make voice calls to people who aren’t able to actively answer a call. Find out more about how Echo can help people with dementia.

4) From $200 ViewClix Smart Frame
These smart picture frames display digital photos in a 10-inch screen size ($200) or 15-inch screen size ($300).

Both sizes have video calling with an auto-answer mode. When auto-answer is set up, the older adult doesn’t need to do anything to receive a video call.

This is especially helpful for making video calls to someone with dementia or who isn’t able to physically answer a call.

Tip: When choosing a screen size, think about your family member’s vision: is it poor or starting to decline? If so, go with the largest screen size that your budget allows.

We discuss the ViewClix Smart Frame in greater detail here.

5) RAZ Memory Cell Phone, $309 + monthly service
This dementia-friendly mobile phone is a cell phone that someone with cognitive impairment can actually use.

It has a single screen that never turns off, calling by picture, and emergency services.

It also has an optional alternative service that answers emergency calls if someone with dementia frequently makes unwanted 911 calls.

 

Simple puzzles and activities give seniors with dementia a sense of accomplishment

7 fun, specially-designed puzzles and activities

1) Keeping Busy puzzles and activities for Alzheimer’s and Dementia
These wonderful, non-childish, age-appropriate activities come with instructions on how to present the activity to ensure that the person with dementia feels a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment. 

They’re also tested with seniors at different stages of dementia to ensure that the activities are enjoyable and well-suited for various ability levels.

2) Activity and puzzle books for Alzheimer’s and Dementia

  • $6 Grandma & Grandpa’s Word Searches Volume 1 and Volume 2
    Each volume of this activity book has 27 simple, large-print word searches designed for people with cognitive impairment. There are only horizontal words, no diagonal ones.
  • $8 The Fun and Relaxing Adult Activity Book
    This book is full of easy puzzles, brain games, writing activities and coloring pages. Some of the puzzles include crosswords, word searches, mazes, find the differences, trivia, and more.
  • $8 The Fun and Easy Memory Activity Book for Adults
    This activity book includes a selection of activities, puzzles, and games that target short-term and long-term memory as well as easy puzzles and brain games.
  • $8 Little Moments of Joy Adult Activity Book
    Another fantastic book packed full of entertaining activities including easy puzzles, brain games, writing activities, and coloring pages.
  • $8 Easy Relaxing Puzzles
    This fun puzzle book has simple instructions, large print, and clear pictures. It includes extra-easy Spot the Odd One Out puzzles, simple-to-solve mazes, large-print word search puzzles, and Find the Differences puzzles.
  • $10 Delightful! Easy Puzzles, Memory Activities and Brain Games for Adults
    This activity book has large print and easy-to-see images. It includes classic puzzles like word searches, Find the Differences, mazes, sudoku, and Spot the Odd One Out. It also includes fun memory activities and brain games.

3) Recreate handy hobbies
Help someone recreate memories of past projects with these tool-based activities.

4) Encourage creative expression with simple art activities

  • $10 Extra soft, reusable, non-toxic modeling clay
    These colorful clays won’t dry out, no matter how much they’re used or if they’re accidentally left out. Cleanup is easy too. There’s  no tacky residue that sticks to hands, fingers, and clothing.
  • $23 Relish Wonderful Animals Aquapaint Water Painting Pack
    This painting pack includes 5 vibrant images of animals. Use plain water to “paint” these colorful paintings and give a sense of accomplishment. The color fades as the paper dries so they can be used over and over again.
  • $23 Relish Garden Wonders Aquapaint Water Painting Pack
    This painting pack includes 5 vibrant garden-themed images. Use plain water to “paint” these colorful paintings. The color fades as the paper dries so they can be used over and over again.
  • $23 Relish Ocean Life Aquapaint Water Painting Art Pack
    This painting pack includes 5 vibrant ocean-themed images. Use plain water to “paint” these colorful paintings. The color fades as the paper dries so they can be used over and over again.
  • $23 The Tool Shed Aquapaint Reusable Water Painting
    This painting pack includes 5 vibrant tool-themed images. Use plain water to “paint” these colorful paintings. The color fades as the paper dries so they can be used over and over again.

5) Enjoy block puzzles and free-form building

6) From $13 Springbok Puzzles to Remember
Springbok has designed 36 and 100 piece jigsaw puzzles in a wide variety of beautiful designs for people with Alzheimer’s and dementia. The large pieces are easier to grip and see and the pictures are vibrant and artistic – not at all childish.

7) $30 Portrait Puzzles custom photo puzzle
Use your own photo to create a custom 30 piece custom jigsaw puzzle, 16 x 20 inch size. These puzzles are designed for people with reduced vision, low mobility, and cognitive impairment.

 

Activities at the right level for Alzheimer’s and dementia give a sense of accomplishment

5 activities that give a sense of accomplishment

1) $9 Melissa & Doug Lace and Trace Activity Set: Pets
This lacing activity is especially great for someone who enjoyed sewing. This kit includes 5 fun animal pictures that make it fun and easy to “sew” along the holes at the edges.

2) $10 Coogam 32 Piece Jumbo Nuts and Bolts Set
This set includes brightly colored plastic nuts and bolts in 4 shapes and 4 colors. Enjoy hours of safe fun by attaching and detaching the nuts and bolts or sorting by color or shape.

3) $12 Melissa & Doug Primary Lacing Beads
Large wooden beads with oversized holes are perfect for lacing. This set includes 30 brightly colored wooden beads in different shapes and 2 colorful lacing strings in a wooden storage case. Tip: Buy colorful shoelaces if you need more lacing strings.

4) $14 Melissa & Doug Wooden 24-piece Tool Box
This 24-piece set includes wooden tools, nails, screws, nuts, and bolts.

5) $17 Melissa & Doug Pattern Blocks and Boards
These fun shapes can be used in a variety of ways. Use the included boards to create colorful pictures, make free form shapes, or trace the shapes on paper.

 

These gifts provide comfort and calm to someone with dementia

7 gifts that comfort and soothe seniors who are anxious or fidgety

1) $10 Tangle Jr. Textured Sensory Fidget Toy
This fun twisty fidget toy has a variety of textures and colors for tactile and visual sensory stimulation. It’s silent and calming to use so it won’t disrupt or disturb others.

2) $10 Pro-Tec Spiky Massage Ball
This 3-inch diameter ball has a gently spiky outer layer that gives a massage effect.

3) $14 WQFXYZ Pop Push It Bubble Fidget Sensory Toy
Press the bubbles to make a slight popping sound. Then, flip it over and start over. This handy fidget toy is easy to clean and reuse.

4) Fidget quilts and soft items
These comforting items give nervous hands something safe and soothing to fiddle with.

5) $44 Busy Fingers Weighted Fidget Lap Pad with 3 Activity Panels
This plush weighted pillow provides soothing pressure and calming benefits. Activity panels include: find hidden objects in the pellets, push a marble through a maze, or twirl and stretch fun colored coils.

6) Weighted blankets
Weighted blankets have been scientifically proven to relieve distress and anxiety. They’re especially helpful for soothing people with Alzheimer’s or dementia – day or night.

Note: We’ve also got DIY weighted blanket instructions here.

7) Custom photo blankets
These cozy blankets help seniors stay warm and cozy while keeping familiar faces nearby.

 

Cuddly animals or dolls can give someone with Alzheimer’s a sense of purpose and calm

4 gifts that seniors can cuddle and care for

1) Stuffed animals
Cuddly stuffed animals like these give comfort and can become a pet or companion. We especially love this cockapoo puppy, this classic teddy bear, and this striped cat.

2) $32 My Little Puppy singing plush puppy
This soft, cuddly puppy is 10 inches tall and sings “If You’re Happy And You Know It.” The best part is that it claps its hands and ears along with the song!

3) From $125 Joy for All Pet Companion robotic cat or puppy (get 10% off with discount code JOY10 at checkout)
These lifelike and engaging pets are cute and cuddly soft. They’re battery powered and can purr, meow, bark, move, and respond in realistic ways when petted or hugged. Find out more in our review here.

4) Therapy dolls
Therapy dolls can provide comfort and help seniors feel useful and needed because they have something positive to focus on. 

Dolls can also bring back happy memories of early parenthood for both women and men. They can also ease feelings of isolation and sadness because they have someone to love and care for. 

Find out more about the positive effect of therapy dolls for dementia here.

 

Simple books can help someone with dementia enjoy reading again

7 entertaining picture books that bring back the joy of reading

1) $6 1950s Memory Lane

  • With large print, short easy-to-follow paragraphs, and plenty of illustrations, this book looks at everyday life in the 1950s in the USA and Britain
  • It’s intended to help stimulate long-term memories of those who lived through the 1950s, with sections on music, films, fashion, sport, holidays, and more

2) From $10 DIY custom photo storybook

  • Create a custom photo book and add text to tell a simple story
  • Use photos of people, places, things, hobbies, or activities that have special meaning to create a book they’ll love to flip through

3) $10 The Picture Book of Natural Wonders

  • This beautiful picture book will capture their attention, engage their mind, and encourage them to relax
  • Each natural wonder is accompanied by its name and location

4) $10 The Fabulous Flower Book

  • To avoid upsetting the reader, this book doesn’t mention anything about Alzheimer’s disease or dementia
  • Contains 40 different pages of different types of lovely flowers

5) From $15 Dog or Cat picture books

  • Hardcover books with thick, easy-to-turn pages 
  • Each book has large beautiful pictures of all kinds of dogs or cats
  • Realistic illustrations

6) $17 Blue Sky, White Clouds: A Book for Memory-Challenged Adults

  • A simple, adult picture book with beautiful, realistic photographs and large, easy-to-read captions

7) $28 Two-Lap Books: Read-Aloud Books for Memory-Challenged Adults
These books encourage shared reading, reminiscence, and conversation through large, simple text and colorful illustrations about universally appealing activities

 

Practical gifts help make life easier for someone with dementia

6 practical gifts that make life easier

1) Specialized clothing for dementia needs

  • Prevent spontaneous undressing with stylish back-zip jumpsuits (some even look like 2 piece outfits) – for women and men
  • Make dressing easier with soft fabrics and easy-to-use Velcro, snap, and zip closures – for women and men
  • Practical, stylish, and comfortable

2) $19 Jumbo Large Print 2021 Wall Calendar

  • Being able to keep track of time and date decreases confusion and helps seniors stay oriented and engaged with the world
  • This jumbo calendar (17 x 22 inches) is easy to see and understand and has plenty of space for making notes about appointments or special events

3) $50 Deluxe 5-piece Redware Dining Set

  • In Alzheimer’s patients, red color dining ware is found to increase food intake by 24% and liquid intake by 84%
  • This set includes cup, inner lip plate, partitioned plate with lid, and adaptive grip fork and spoon

4) $57 American Lifetime Extra Large Digital Day Clock

  • Being able to keep track of time and date decreases confusion and helps seniors stay oriented and engaged with the world
  • This clock clearly spells out the time, period of the day, full day of the week, month and date
  • The display has large, clear letters with no confusing abbreviations
  • The words dementia, Alzheimer’s, and memory loss are intentionally excluded from the packaging, making it a great gift

5) $92 Eatwell Assistive Tableware Set, 8 Piece

  • Award-winning assistive tableware set for users with cognitive, motor and physical impairments
  • Designed to increase appetite and reduce visual confusion
  • Encourages independent eating and reduces the burden on caregivers
  • Added stability helps prevent spills and dropped foods
  • Find out more about this set

6) $110 Large Retro Style One Button Dementia Radio

  • This AM/FM radio is specially designed to be completely controlled by one button
  • Remove the front panel to select the preferred AM or FM station and set the volume.
  • Remove and store the control knob and store it in the rear compartment to prevent adjustment
  • Once the initial set up has been completed, the user simply pushes the button to turn the radio on and pushes the same button to turn the radio off.
  • Music can also be downloaded and played using a USB memory stick (MP3 format only). When using a USB stick, the front cover panel will remain off.

 

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By DailyCaring Editorial Team
Image:
SPC Care Homes

 

This article reflects prices at publication, but prices and availability may change. This article wasn’t sponsored, but contains affiliate links. We never link to products or services for the sole purpose of making a commission. Recommendations are based on our honest opinions. For more information, see How We Make Money.


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