Gift shopping for parents or grandparents with dementia can be tough! The task of finding something they will love and actually use is a tall order.
I surveyed dementia caregivers and asked them for their best gift ideas for Grandma and Grandpa. Caregivers working in residential care settings and those caring for a loved one at home participated in the survey. So whether you’re shopping for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, a birthday, Christmas, or just because, you’re sure to find something on this list your senior with dementia will love!
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The Day Clock was my caregiver survey top choice as the best, most used, and most appreciated gift for those with dementia! It’s super easy to read from across the room and set-up is a breeze. My mom says this clock helps her feel “not so lost”. Seriously, if your senior with dementia doesn’t have a Day Clock yet, this is the gift you should get them!
Depending on your senior’s functioning level, word search, crossword, Sudoku, and maze books can be great gifts. Puzzles are excellent cognitive activities for seniors with early to early-mid stage dementia, and they can be fun and rewarding, too! When choosing puzzle books, look for those with large print.
Caregivers at facilities said many of their residents were always cold and loved soft blankets, warm socks, robes, and slippers. The blanket pictured below is a Blankiegram Hugs Blanket. It’s covered in bear hugs, warm hugs, happy hugs, giant hugs, and more! Super cute!
“Music they love” was at the top of caregiver suggested gifts for dementia patients. My mom loves listening to music, but I have struggled to find a player that doesn’t frustrate her. The controls just seem too complicated making it difficult for her to turn it off and on. And then there’s the trouble with the volume. Oh my. 🤦♀️We don’t have the Simple Music Player pictured, but it sure looks like it would solve my mom’s music controls issues. To play – open the lid. To stop – close the lid. To skip a song – press the only button. And the volume control is designed in such a way to avoid being accidentally changed by the user. 👏 It sounds pretty amazing. This player seems a little pricey to me, but at the time of writing, it had 4.5 stars on Amazon. So lots of people love it. The reviews indicate it comes pre-loaded with some big band tunes, but you can also add your own MP3 music.
I can personally recommend these beautiful Springbok Alzheimer’s and Dementia Jigsaw puzzles! They have a whole collection of 36 piece puzzles with adult designs. My mom loves these! She has several that I rotate. These make an awesome gift!
Companion Pets have built-in sensors that respond to movement and touch. These pets can open and close their eyes, move their heads and mouths, and can lift their paws. Caregivers at facilities said their residents in the later stages enjoyed these! Cats and dogs available.
Easy Coloring Books
Coloring is a popular activity these days and a great one for seniors! A book with markers or colored pencils makes a great gift! Pick books with appropriate complexity for your senior’s current level. My mom is currently stage 5 Alzheimer’s, and I look for dementia friendly books with simple designs and thick stroke lines. Here’s a link to one of her favorites.
Some seniors in the later stages of dementia may enjoy holding and “caring for” a baby doll. Caregivers report they bring comfort and joy. Dementia Care UK has a great article describing the benefits of dolls for dementia patients as well as tips on how to introduce them.
Do you have a great gift idea for seniors with dementia? I’d love to add to the list! Message me HERE. Thank you!
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