37+ Memory Gifts for Dementia Patients that Help Memory & Encourage Reminiscing

By: Scott Grant, Certified Senior Advisor®, ATP, CRTS®

Choosing the right gifts for dementia patients can be challenging to say the least. Look for gifts that are sentimental, serve as reminders, or encourage reminiscence and memory.

Income Disclosure: I recommend products based on my personal experience working with seniors.
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With birthdays, holidays, and other special occasions, finding a nice gift for dementia patients can be a challenge. 

When it comes to buying gifts for people with dementia, you have to get creative because standard gifts may not mean nearly as much. People who live in assisted care facilities might not have room for larger gifts.

Even smaller trinkets can end up cluttering the home which could make the symptoms of advanced dementia worse.

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Recommended Gifts for Dementia Patients

RELATED: Sensory Gifts for Dementia

General Gift Advice for Seniors With Dementia

Here are a few general comments and ideas for buying a gift for someone with dementia:

  • Sentimental value is important. There is a lot of value from homemade or family based items.
  • Sensory gifts that embody a favorite smell.
  • Memory based gifts that are practical. Put together memory boxes with a collection of items meant to stimulate memories like tools, perfume, teddy bears, photos, or other items of significance. 
  • Smaller gifts can be handmade. For example, calendars with favorite family photos meant to remind loved ones of their friends or family. Mugs with a favorite photo from something like a wedding help patients reminisce about the good old days.

My Top Picks

Overall, picking gifts for dementia patients can be difficult, but not impossible. Try to find something that is useful and appreciated. Get creative. If you can incorporate elements from their past, it is best to do so. My personal favorites are the Magnetic Reminder Pads, the Memory Loss Calendar Clock, and the Shapes Game.

RELATED: What’s the Difference Between Memory Care and Nursing Home Care?

Almost all of the items above can be personalized. For example, sensory gifts can be modified by including their favorite scent or a scent from their childhood. Music and movie gifts can be personalized to include a list of their favorite artists or actors.

Soft blankets can be purchased in their favorite color, or a color which matches their existing furniture or clothing items. With things like dry erase boards, you can easily include photos you pin to the corners of their family or friends, even a photo of themselves when they were younger. 

Do you have other gift ideas for dementia patients that you recommend? Tell me about them in the comments below!

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