When your loved one has Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia, you’re likely thinking about care, day-to-day routines, and how to provide your loved one with the best quality of life. What you may not be thinking about is gifts for the holidays, birthdays, and “just because.” As you’re searching for the right gifts for your loved one, you may not know where to start. This guide to gifts for dementia patients will give you plenty of ideas and inspiration to give your loved one meaningful gifts that they will treasure. Gifts for People in Early-Stage Dementia When your loved one is in the early stage of dementia, they may experience symptoms like memory loss, confusion, and difficulty completing tasks. Gifts that stimulate the senses and engage your loved one can help them enjoy the present moment. 1. Memory Box Make a memory box full of items from your loved one’s life. This could include a childhood doll, family photographs, a piece of their wedding gown, jewelry – anything that holds happy memories. Not only will your loved one enjoy going through the box, they’ll also experience sensory stimulation while handling the different objects. 2. Digital Photo Frames This is a good idea if your loved one’s family members live further away and cannot visit as often. You can upload photos to a digital photo frame so that your loved one can feel included in everyone’s lives. The photo frame also offers a consistent stream of familiar faces. 3. Puzzles and Games Puzzles and games are fun ways for your loved one to engage their brain. There are specific jigsaw puzzles designed for people living with dementia, as well as memory games that can stimulate your loved one’s brain. When playing memory, you can use a standard deck of cards or a themed memory game. Set the cards face up and scan them with your loved one. Then, flip the cards over so you can’t see the card number or images. Take turns with your loved one to two cards to see if they’re a match. If you get a match, you can flip again. Another great game that will engage your loved one’s mind is doing word searches. The Overlook, a senior living community in Charlton, MA, offers word search books for community residents. Doing these activities with your loved one also promotes social interaction and can prevent feelings of isolation. 4. Smart Speaker Music can soothe and reduce stress and agitation. Some studies show that music therapy provides cognitive benefits to those with dementia. Having a smart speaker in the house gives your loved one access to all their favorite music; all they have to do is tell the speaker to play their favorite songs. 5. Indoor Garden Kit This is a great gift idea if your loved one enjoys cooking and using fresh ingredients. The indoor garden kit allows your loved one to grow herbs without committing to tending a garden. Having this familiar touch in the kitchen can also boost your loved one’s mood. 6. Large Print Books If your loved one is an avid reader, they may find that large print books are easier to read. Gifting your loved one dementia-friendly large print books in their favorite genre will allow them to continue their favorite pastime. 7. Arts and Crafts If your loved one loves painting, creating crafts, or expressing their artistic side in other ways, giving them a gift that allows them to continue their hobbies is a great option. Spending quality time with your loved one while you’re doing an activity they enjoy will be a meaningful and special experience. You can also set up an activity day with an Adult Day Program, like the Vista Adult Day Program offered at The Overlook. Your loved one will have an enjoyable day of socialization and participation in engaging activities with compassionate caregivers while you have a day to rest and recharge. Gifts for People in Middle-Stage Dementia At middle-stage dementia, your loved one may have more difficulty with speech, their memory issues will worsen, and they can be easily upset or fearful. The following gifts can provide both function and comfort for your loved one. 8. Scrapbook Scrapbooking is an engaging activity that can be as simple or elaborate as your loved one wants. Taking family photographs and gluing them to different pages can be a great opportunity for reminiscing. You can also branch out and do theme scrapbooking of what your loved one likes the most. With supplies like construction paper, stickers, and colored pencils, your loved one can create each page just as they want it. They can rip up different pieces of paper, overlay elements on the page, and add notes or drawings to truly make it personalized. 9. Pamper Basket A pamper basket is like gifting your loved one a spa day. The basket can include anything that will make your loved one feel luxurious. A new soft robe, a scented soap, chapstick, and maybe their favorite type of tea or snack are all possible additions to a pamper basket. 10. Activity Books An activity book can provide your loved one with all kinds of options to pass the time. These books include puzzles, word searches, and connect the dots, and provide hours of entertainment while also helping your loved one’s mental health. 11. Alarm Clock Having an alarm clock with large numbers can help your loved one immediately know what time it is without having to squint. The alarms can provide reminders for your loved one to take certain medications or remind them of upcoming appointments. 12. Homemade Gifts Homemade gifts add a personal touch to your gift to your loved one. Is there a beloved chocolate chip cookie recipe in your family? Or are you an accomplished crocheter? Creating something personalized for your loved one can help them feel special and appreciated. 13. Comfortable Clothes Sweaters, drawstring pants, and cardigans are both comfortable and easy to wear. Your loved one won’t have to deal with small buttons or zippers or fabric that irritates their skin. Instead, they’ll have soothing and soft clothing that will make them feel as cozy as possible. 14. Nonslip Socks or Slippers Keeping your loved one’s feet warm with fuzzy socks or slippers is an easy solution – but some socks or slippers are more stable than others. Finding socks with grips and nonslip slippers can reduce your loved one’s risk of losing their balance and bring you peace of mind. Gifts for People in Late-Stage Dementia People with late-stage dementia may not be able to speak, have difficulty with eating, and be less mobile. You may want to opt for gifts that you can place in their lap or that they can enjoy while sitting. 15. Activity Boards Activity boards are a great gift for your loved one with dementia because they provide your loved one with entertainment that focuses on their motor and memory skills all in one. Also known as a busy board, an activity board will have mechanisms like switches, latches, and other gadgets that your loved one can manipulate. 16. Stuffed Animal If your loved one was an avid pet owner, having a plush companion can be a relaxing gift option that brings back positive memories and also provides a source of comfort for your loved one. There are also robotic animals that mimic the sounds and motions of a pet that can be used in pet therapy. Studies have shown that robotic animals used in pet therapy for people with dementia help decrease their stress and anxiety and reduce the need for both psychoactive and pain medications. 17. Fidget Blanket A fidget blanket is a blanket specially designed for people with memory loss or other forms of cognitive impairment. The fidget blanket has tactile patches sewn in that can sit on your loved one’s lap or table. For example, parts of the blanket may be furry and soft to touch, while other parts may have beads, buttons, strings, and ribbons for your loved one to engage with while they’re sitting. 18. Coloring Books Coloring is a relaxing activity that will engage your loved one’s creative side. There are all kinds of coloring books for adults – choosing a book theme that they love can make the activity even more enjoyable – like birds or flowers. 19. Aromatherapy Items Using scented items like lotions, diffusers, and soaps can give your loved one a nice sensory experience. Lavender can be soothing, while peppermint and eucalyptus can help promote alertness. 20. Lap Robe In late-stage dementia, your loved one may use a wheelchair and need a blanket to stay warm and cozy. A lap robe or lap blanket is designed to comfortably fit over someone who uses a wheelchair. 21. Favorite Movies If your loved one has a favorite movie and they don’t have a copy of it at home, gifting them a hard copy can be a great gift. Not only will they be able to reminisce while they watch their favorite film, you can turn the movie on at any point and don’t have to depend on streaming. Memory Care at The Overlook When you’re caregiving for a loved one with dementia, there may come a time when you need extra support. That’s where memory care at The Overlook comes in. Call us today at 866-585-4277 to learn more about how our Fieldstone memory care can help.