Holiday Gift Ideas for a Person with Dementia

Finding the perfect gift for any of your loved ones during the holiday season can be a struggle. Add an Alzheimer’s or dementia diagnosis onto an already difficult task and many are left scrambling to find something their loved ones will get excited about. That is why we took the time to compile some gift ideas that are sure to put gift givers in the holiday spirit.

What are some items of comfort I could gift someone with dementia?

For your loved one living with dementia, the world around them can sometimes feel like a scary and unfamiliar place. Having items that bring comfort available can help them to relax them when they need it most. For example, if your loved one grew up with pets they may find comfort in a mechanical pet or even a stuffed animal.

Here are some examples of comforting gifts:

  • Regular or weighted blankets
  • Slippers with non-skid soles
  • Stuffed animals and/or mechanical pets
  • Pampering toiletries like soothing lotions (although depending on stage of dementia and sensitivity to smells, ensure they are non-toxic if ingested)
  • Comfortable clothes that are easy to put on or remove

What are some gifts to keep someone with dementia entertained?

One of the best ways to keep your loved one with dementia in good spirits is to keep them engaged in activities that bring joy. Boredom can make the days drag on and ultimately lead to depression. Although your loved one may not be able to participate in all of the activities they once enjoyed, there is still plenty to keep them busy throughout the day.

Here are some examples of activity-oriented gifts for a person with dementia:

  • Puzzles
  • Playing Cards
  • Movies
  • Tickets to online performances
  • Craft or art supplies
  • Books
  • Audio books
  • Music players already set to a favorite station or loaded with a playlist of preferred songs

What are some memory evoking gifts for someone with dementia?

As your loved one’s memories fade, gifts that remind them of places and people that brought them joy can elicit enjoyment too. Putting together a scrapbook of some of his/her best memories is a thoughtful way to make your loved one smile this holiday season. As your loved one’s memory declines, taking the time to label each photo with some of the details such as names, relationship to your loved one, and the location makes for a nice touch.

Here is some more memory evoking gift ideas:

  • Photo album
  • Digital photo frame
  • Books about places to where your loved one has traveled
  • Music that is reminiscent of old/good times
  • Favorite movies
  • Sports memorabilia

What activities can I do with someone living with dementia during the holidays?

Above all else you could offer this holiday season, the gift of your time is most valuable. Sit and talk to your loved one, reminisce about old times, or plan activities to do together.

Here are some activities you can do with your loved one:

  • Play a card game
  • Cook a favorite meal
  • Bake a favorite treat
  • Put on some music and dance around the house
  • Decorate for the holidays together
  • Make a craft together
  • Look over old photos of good memories

If you have additional questions about gift items for someone living with dementia, reach out to Ask Mimi.

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