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.
Recommended Gifts for Dementia Patients
Relish Radio for Dementia
This nostalgia-inspired radio is specifically designed to be extremely easy to use. Even for seniors with dementia and Alzheimer’s.
If features an easy-to-use control panel with big buttons that are easy to see. The volume never goes completely off so that the user will know it’s still on. it’s lightweight and durable too!
Caregivers can program their favorite stations into the one-touch buttons on top allowing them to still have variety and choice in their music.
Snug Safety – Free Daily Check-In Service
Looking for a unique gift idea for a senior or elderly person who lives alone? Here is a great alternative to expensive medical alert systems.
Snug is a free – and friendly – check in service for people living alone. It works via an app on a mobile phone and alerts a senior’s emergency contacts if they don’t check in by their assigned time.
There are free and paid subscription plans available. The free plan sends text messages to the emergency contacts while the paid Dispatch plan takes additional steps including phone calls to make sure the person is safe. If they can’t reach anyone, they will request a Wellness Check to the cell phone’s last location.
The Dispatch Plan is $9.99 per month but Graying With Grace readers can save 15% by using my discount code GWG15 or the button below.
American Lifetime Day Clock
Even on my best days I’m not always on top of what day of the week it is or what the date is. That effect seems to be compounded for folks in assisted living.
That’s not likely to get better as I continue to age over the next several decades. This large clock/calendar is perfect as it shows the date, day of the week, time, and year all there at once to make it very handy.
Raz Mobility Easy-to-Use Memory Cell Phone for Seniors
This easy to use cell phone for seniors features photo dialing, an emergency button, and displays the time, remaining batter, and signal strength. And, that’s it! Plus caregivers can manage and control the phone settings through a simple portal.
Sensory Weighted Blanket for Alzheimer’s & Dementia
MindCare’s Sensory Weighted Blankets have designed this line of weighted blankets specifically with dementia patients in mind. Perfectly weighted, the blanket can wrap the body like a shawl or cover the body when sleeping. They are comfortable while applying pressure for a soothing effect that helps alleviate anxiety and other dementia-related symptoms
PartyLite BeBalanced Home Fragrance Collection
The use of scent has long been studied in the area of dementia care and memory improvement. The BeBalanced collection from PartyLite distributes the restorative power of essential oils through diffusers and 100% soy wax candles. Choose individual scents or one of their Daily Calm Relaxation or Daily Energy Positivity sampler sets.
Smart Jewelry with Panic Button
This well made jewelry features a hidden panic button that you can press when you need any kind of assistance from friends, family, or even the authorities. Once received, the jewelry syncs up to an app on your cell phone. Then, once the panic button is pressed, your cell phone will notify the people that your designate.
Sensory Jigsaw Puzzles Subscription Box
This seasonal/quarterly box contains sensory jigsaw puzzles that are designed to use multiple senses: sight, touch, and smell. Plus it’s a fun activity!
There has been lots of research in using activities that stimulate the senses with dementia patients for improving memory. But, these activities are good for all seniors and elderly folks.
Who wouldn’t enjoy a puzzle that also has a pleasant aroma and you can actually feel the textures?
Memory Aid Fidget Activity Blanket
This Fidget Blanket provides engaging sensory activities for adults including Snapback buckle strap, webbing buckle, memory card/photo, shoe lace, cloth flaps, buttons, zipper and threaded rope. Keeping the hands active and busy all help keep fingers, hands and joint mobile and engaged to help strengthen them, which is particularly important for people with dementia.
SMPL Hands-Free Dial Photo Memory Corded Phone
This “SMPL” home phone offers everything seniors and the elderly need: photo memory dial buttons, super-loud speakerphone, big, bold buttons, and easy to use volume buttons within reach.
Magazine Gift Subscriptions That Seniors Will Love
Magazine subscriptions provide a ton of benefits for seniors: education, entertainment, a way to pass some time. They can also be a great link to the outside world. Look for large print magazines like Reader’s Digest for seniors with vision problems.
Recipe Keepsake Book – Favorite Family Recipes
This helpful tool collects all of a senior’s favorite recipes so that they never forget them. It also preserves these heirloom recipes for the family and future generations. Overtime, this gift becomes priceless!
Aunty Acid Mini Wall Calendar
Aunty Acid says what we are all thinking. This calendar is entertaining, useful, and sometimes a little shocking. Use as a quick glance tool to remember apppointments or other obligations. Measures 7″x7″ when closed and 7″x14″ when open. Wall-mountable.
Jitterbug Smart2 Smartphone for Seniors from Lively
This easy to use smartphones for seniors has simple, list basted menus with a large, easy to see screen. Even offers voice typing and mobile internet access.
SIMPL One-Touch Music Player
This simple music player for seniors with dementia has been designed to be intuitive and as easy to use as possible. Plus, it reminds seniors of old radios which encourages them to use it. One button operation after being set up by a caregiver.
Dynotag SuperAlert Medical ID Tags
With these medical tags, it’s easy for first responders to get essential information about a patient. The tags are laminated and completely weatherproof, which means they’ll be in great shape for years. The set includes both a keychain tag and a wallet card. It’s a wonderful way to protect the people you love most.
World of Puzzles & Games Subscription
Many seniors love working puzzles so why not provide them puzzles to work all year long. Puzzles help keep the mind active and sharp which can improve memory and keep away boredom. 9 Issues per year.
Shake Loose a Memory Games
The object of Shake Loose A Memory Games is to keep as many cards as possible, but the real goal is to talk about and recall memories — the games were designed specifically for people with Alzheimer’s.
“If you have played the piano, do you remember practicing?”
“If you’ve ever had champagne. Remember celebrating weddings?”
There are no wrong answers. The game’s purpose is to create success and help recall positive emotional events.
Scrapbook Album with Gift Box
A scrapbook is a great way to recall happy memories together. Include the crafts, stickers, and pictures to go with it, and it becomes a family activity that everyone can enjoy during visits.
These scrapbooks can be filled with different themes, like pictures and keepsakes from a lifetime of birthdays, anniversaries, or travels. Larger sized books are ideal for seniors with vision problems too.
Call to Mind Conversation Game For Dementia and Alzheimer’s
Research shows that memory games are for everyone. Games like these improve memory and recall – even if the senior you are buying a gift for is sharp as a tack. This game is fit for anyone ages 6 and older so it is a fun game to break out when family or friends visit too.
Story of My Life: A Workbook for Preserving Your Legacy
Sadly, when our senior loved ones leave us, their stories and history goes with them. This workbook encourages them to share this history with your and provides a place to record memories through a series of questions and prompts. It will quickly become a treasured heirloom for the family.
Leather Journal in Gift Box with Pen
This stylish journal is packaged in a gift box and has a unique style and look. It’s been said that journaling helps improve memory and mental processing – and it’s a great way to record memories or private thoughts. Would make a good travel or garden diary too.
A digital photo album is a fun way to load up and display family, vacation, and travel photos. Rather than having space for just one or two happy photos, you can add or change the pictures by uploading them from your phone to the frame when you come to visit. It can also be updated via WiFi too! Pair this with an easy to use camera to take some of the photos themselves.
American Made Hardwood Visitor Register or Guestbook
This gift idea is a fun way to keep track of visitors and get some great stories along the way. Having a sign-in journal in their room encourages guests, family, and friends to leave notes, stories, and other keepsakes. I chose this one because it looks great and will lay flat and is made from natural walnut.
Single Serve Coffee Maker for K Cup Pods and Ground Coffee
No matter how old some of us get, that morning cup of coffee is a mandatory start to the day. This single serve coffee maker is a great gift to provide that single cup of coffee – quickly and easily. No waste, no hassle, just a simple and strong cup of caffeine to get going in the morning.
Esky Wireless Key Finder
Featuring a transmitter kept at one location and six receivers that can be attached to car keys, house keys, remote controls, phones, or whatever else you might frequently lose or misplace. Hit the button, hear the loud beeps, and find what you’re missing!
MedCenter 31 Day Pill Organizer with Reminder System
Makes organizing the pills needed for the day easy as an entire month can be planned out with this pill dispenser and organizer. That makes it easier to plan out various medications, make sure they’re all stored in one place, and a handy alarm can bring your attention back to it if things slip your mind.
The 1Password You Need to Remember
This probably seems like an odd choice, but stick with me for a minute. Seniors are using more tech than ever which means tons of passwords to remember! With this service, they only have to remember one. If set-up is a problem, just have one of the grandkids come over.
399 Games, Puzzles & Trivia Challenges
There are many options when it comes to good brain games. Crossword power, Sudoku books, word searches, or something else entirely, brain games are important. This book is a great option among many for creating and interacting with games that not only pass time and keep you entertained, but also keeps the mind firing on all cylinders!
e-Pill TimeCap and Bottle
This smart pill organizer helps seniors manage medication by displaying the last time the bottle was opened. This is a great gift for forgetful seniors who can’t remember if they took their medicine or not. Reduces the chance of them duplicating their meds.
All-New Echo Dot (4th Gen)
This is probably one of the most useful gifts for any senior. Alexa Echo will tell them the time, date, weather forecast, play them their favorite songs, and also remind them to have their medicines. However, you may need to set it up for them.
Magnetic Dry Erase Whiteboard Sheet
Magnetic dry erase boards can help during the early stages of dementia. The goal during the early stages of dementia is to aid in memory with things like notes and reminders. Put one in each room so that there is always a reminder or a space for notes, when needed. This magnetic dry erase board has multiple uses: write down grocery items, appointments, upcoming birthdays, etc. It comes with and eraser and multiple colored markers plus the whole thing sticks right to the refrigerator.
Magnetic to Do List Notepads
During the early stages of dementia, magnetic reminder pads for the fridge can ease the frustration of memory loss. With this kit you get a pack of 12 reminder pads, one for each month. This themed set means you can coordinate reminders based on the time of year. There are magnetic strips on the back of each pad so they will stick to the fridge, a metal filing cabinet, etc. Be sure to include a pack of pens and a magnetic container to hold them so that there is always one nearby.
Film Noir Classic Collection, Vol. 1
In the middle stages of dementia, gifts like movie collections from their favorite era can be not only comforting but also reap positive benefits. Naturally, there are many gift sets out there of movies from various genres and time periods, so try to find something that best suits your dementia patients. Sets of westerns or Marilyn Monroe films aid in memory and calm patients down when they are stressed or anxious.
Keeping Busy Match The Shapes Engaging Activity
The game consists of 36 brightly colored tiles and colored templates which encourage memory. This game has been tested on individuals with various stages of dementia and is enjoyable and gives them a sense of accomplishment. People with dementia are not children, but might still enjoy games that younger people enjoy. That is why this game is a nice middle ground gift.
Memory Loss One Button Dementia Radio
This is the easiest radio for seniors with dementia. It uses an extremely simple one button interface for a preset radio station you choose. There is also a USB port for adding the senior’s favorite songs via an MP3 player for some variation.
Ancestry® Gift Subscription
As we age, it’s not uncommon to begin wondering where we came from and wanting to learn more about our roots. A gift subscription for Ancestry® can help aging adults begin the journey just by plugging in what they do know about their ancestors. A gift like this can also create an opportunity to spend time together by working on the family history together!
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.
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!