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Memory Gifts for Dementia Patients that Help Memory & Encourage Reminiscing

Summary (TL;DR):

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.

Here are my Top Picks:

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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.

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.

Great Gift Ideas for Dementia Patients

Here are some specific gift ideas to help you with your gift buying:

Features

  • THE ULTIMATE STAIN-RESISTANT DRY ERASE REFRIGERATOR WHITEBOARD is finally here! Unlike all those cheaply-made dry erase organizers that leave frustrating stains, our erasable white board for all cleans up easily without any stains!
  • GET A GREAT VALUE WHITEBOARD SET including 5 COLORFUL MAGNETIC DRY ERASE MARKERS + 1 ERASER, to offer you everything you need to write in one COMPLETE SET! Save money on buying separately all your writing or drawing tools and make the right choice with a tremendous value dry erase board kit!
  • WRITE, DRAW OR PLAN YOUR EVENTS on a decorative magnetic dry erase board graciously on your fridge! In the perfect hardness for better scratch resistance, it makes a long-lasting office, work, school, preschool or sports event planning whiteboard. Or, just your kids’ dry erase board to host their imaginative drawings!
  • OFFER A STUNNING GIFT to your toddler, teenaged kid, loved student, office worker or teacher and have them thankful for your excellent choice! Help them get their message across with a multipurpose dry erase board organizer, using it as an event planner board or a learning whiteboard and put a wide smile on their face!
  • OUR GOAL is to make your life much easier and organized with this dry erase board. If you have any issues with the board, please message us through Amazon and we will do whatever it takes to make you happy 🙂

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.

If you opt for the dry erase boards, work with the patient to clear away space for them to hang in each room and make sure the location you decide to hang them is practical, and somewhat the same in each room.

Features

  • Creative Hobbies pack of 12 nice quality magnetic notepads for one low price!
  • Pack includes 1 pad for each month of the year! Pad design coordinates with the season.
  • Each 8 x 3.5 inch pad has 35 sheets of paper and a magnet strip on the top rear.
  • Great for the refrigerator, file cabinet, school locker, office desk, grocery list, and more!
  • Just what you need for making shopping lists, honey-do messages, reminders for the kids and more!

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. 

Features

  • THE #1 RATED EXTRA LARGE MEMORY LOSS CLOCK WITH DAY AND DATE- This, high resolution, large digital display clock by TimeKeepers makes keeping track of day and date stress-free! Large, bold format LED numbers are easy to read from any angle. Product Dimensions: 11.7 x 7 x 1.7 inches
  • SETUP IN UNDER 2 MINUTES! - TimeKeepers digital clock simplifies the setup process with just a couple easy to use buttons. Navigate the menu quickly with straightforward options. Customizable Auto-Dimming feature eliminates day/night confusion. Clock can be positioned upright on a shelf or table and can also be hung on the wall.
  • THE PERFECT (DISCREETLY PACKAGED) HOLIDAY GIFT - Help your loved ones with memory loss to eliminate confusion with this discreetly packaged yet sleek digital clock. No more daily updates on whiteboards, post-it notes or calendars. Reduce worries about missing appointments as the time, day of the week and date are all clearly displayed simultaneously on the screen.
  • REDUCE THE STRESSFUL IMPACT OF MEMORY LOSS, DEMENTIA & ALZHEIMER’S. Struggling with memory loss, dementia, alzheimer's & vision impairments can be extremely difficult. Help reduce the frustration with the leading Day Clock, the TimeKeepers!
  • 100% SATISFACTION GUARANTEED - Your satisfaction is always our #1 priority and that we'll do everything in our power to make sure you have an excellent experience


During the early stages of dementia, it is best to help patients remember the date and time. A large clock with the date and time can help with everyday tasks. These are easy to see and help keep track of the day and date. LED numbers make it easy to see from across the room. There is also an auto-dimming feature that helps to eliminate any confusion over day/night.

For dementia patients, this gift can reduce any worry over missing appointments or not knowing what day of the week it is. If you invest in this gift, consider replacing an outdated clock with it, so that there is less confusion. Perhaps invest in more than one for multiple rooms in the home. 

RELATED GUIDE: Electronic Calendar Clocks for Seniors

Features

  • One 12X12 three ring scrapbook album
  • Six 3X4 specialty cards
  • Thirty 4X6 themed cards
  • Ten 12X12 page protectors


Another great idea is to keep dementia patients engaged with an activity like scrapbooking. This starter kit focuses on the theme of “family” but, of course, there are many other sets, stickers, and supplies you can add as time goes on.

Creative kits like this can be something a patient does with their caregiver, when their family visits, or just in their spare time. They can turn to completed scrapbooks for practice with recall by looking over pictures with family or friends and names below. Important dates, events, and people can be integrated into a scrapbook too. 

Features

  • Size:51 inch * 67 inch.
  • Special knitting workmanship gives you a brand new feeling about throws. Different colors depend on your preference. Bright color and quite stylish.
  • The throw can make you feel cozy during nap time and it would be a great choice when you want to watch TV or surf online.It is also very convenient to take on the trip. Besides,it's also makes the perfect gift for your family and friends.
  • Machine wash cold, gentle cycle, only non chlorine bleach when needed, tumble dry low, Cool iron if needed.
  • We think you're going to love our Throw Blanket as much as we do! But in case you don't, you are covered by our 30 day, no questions asked, money back guarantee. We want our customers to be 100% satisfied.

Large, soft quilts in the patient’s favorite color, for example, can not only be comfortable but can keep the senior warm during the winter months. Make sure the item is something they do not already have and something they have room for. If they already have soft blankets, modify the gift slightly by giving a scarf or bathrobe instead. 

Features

  • Asphalt Jungle (1950)- You have a lot of time to think when you're locked away seven years. So criminal mastermind Doc conceives what he believes is the perfect heist. John Huston explores the feverish grab for the big score and how it unravels in The Asphalt Jungle, a renowned tale of dishonor among thieves whose cast includes.Gun Crazy (1949) - When gun fancier Bart Tare sees Annie Laurie Starr'

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. 

Research indicates that music has positive impacts everyone, including those with dementia. Ten minutes per day of music can reduce stress, anxiety, and encourage creativity.

Music from an era important to the recipient brings them back to positive times in their history, increases their stimulation, and gives them an opportunity to interact with family members. That said, buying a set of hits from their favorite time period like this one is perfect. 

RELATED GUIDE: MP3 Music Players for Seniors and the Elderly

Features

  • DESIGNED FOR SENIORS WITH DEMENTIA - not childish, age appropriate puzzles, games and toys for elderly with dementia. No mention of "dementia" or "Alzheimer's" on the product or packaging
  • BRIGHTLY COLORED TILES - 36 brightly colored tiles draw the person's attention and offer tactile stimulation
  • TEMPLATES FOR GUIDANCE - color templates provide guidance and help the person with dementia be successful on their own
  • FULLY TESTED - tested with seniors at various stages of dementia to ensure that it is well-suited, and enjoyed
  • ADAPTABLE FOR DIFFERENT ABILITIES - full instructions detail how to present the activity to ensure that the person with dementia feels a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment


This game is specifically designed for those with dementia. I like that it is not childish nor is there any actual mention of “dementia” or “Alzheimer’s” on the game itself.

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. 

Features

  • Patchouli Lover's Gift Set - A Perfect Travel Set of Patchouli Scented Items
  • Favorite Nag Champa Spa items, all with Patchouli fragrance.
  • Patchouli Soap - 5 oz., Patchouli Lotion - 4 oz., Patchouli Aroma Oil
  • Patchouli Candle Tin, Patchouli Sachet
  • The Perfect Gift for the Patchouli Lover on your list.

During the middle to late stages, sensory stimulation gifts play an integral role. Stimulating the main senses can stir pleasant memories. That is why gifts like scented lotions are great.

This particular set is a patchouli based lotion set with scented lotion, soap, oils, and candles. If this scent does not work for the recipient, pick one that they love. 

RELATED GUIDE: Best Lotion for Elderly Skin

Features

  • Note: This product does not have Ethernet or HDMI ports
  • Fast/Slow Playback with Sound. Progressive Output 480p; Power Consumption (Standby): Less than 0.5 Watt
  • Multi Brand TV Remote Control. CD, MP3 and JPEG Playback
  • Playable file format is video is mpeg 1 cyber shot data, photo is jpeg dcf format, music is mp3 except for mp3 pro/ wma except for wma pro/aac/lpcm/wave
  • DVD/DVD RW/DVD R/DVD+RW/DVD+R/DVD+R DL/ R DLPlayback

As you reach more advanced stages, gifts like a DVR can be wonderful. With a DVR you can help your friend or family member record the shows or programs they might not be able to watch during the day. This can be a great way for them to replay favorite shows or documentaries. 

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. 

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About Scott Grant, ATP, CRTS®

Assistive Technology Professional, Custom Wheelchair Specialist, Medical Equipment Guru, Dad and Grandfather | I am a lucky dad to four awesome daughters and grandfather to three pretty terrific grandkids. When not working as a custom wheelchair specialist at a regional home medical equipment company, I enjoy early morning runs and occasional kayak trips. I am also a self-admitted nerd who loves anything from the 1980's.

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