20 Great Gift Ideas for Dementia or Alzheimer’s Patients

Published on:

Cake's blog posts contain affiliate links and we earn commission from purchases made through these links. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.

You can find plenty of lists online detailing what to bring someone in the hospital, but few lists will help you with gift ideas for those who have dementia or Alzheimer’s. 

Jump ahead to these sections:

If you plan to look for gifts for those at the beginning stages of the disease, you may want gifts that promote brain activity. Gifts for those in the later stages of the disease should focus on safety and comfort. 

Talk with caregivers for specific ideas, since they probably know what the patient needs. 

Birthday or Holiday Gifts for Dementia Patients

Birthday and holiday gifts for dementia patients don’t have to look much different than those you would purchase for the elderly. We’ve included some typical items that many older people would enjoy, as well as gifts specifically for those with memory problems. 

1. Photobook

Your loved one may have thousands of photos but the photos may not be organized or labeled to make it easy for your loved one to view them.

Consider making a photo book filled with images of all the important people in your loved one’s life. Include photos as far back in the family tree as you can go. Work your way forward in history to include clear photographs of each generation. Label each image with the name and relationship, such as “Max and Patricia Smith, your grandparents.”

We like the RECUTMS Photo Album 600 Pockets Leather Cover Black Pages Big Capacity for 4x6 Photos Book Hardcover Wedding Gift Valentines Day Present Family Baby Albums.

2. Large print clock 

Purchase a large print clock for your loved one. Find one made explicitly for Alzheimer’s with the day, time of day, time, and date. Place clocks at strategic locations in the house.

You may also want to purchase one that has an alarm function to remind your loved one when to take pills or eat, even though you may not be able to consistently rely on the patient’s ability to follow through with such reminders.

We like the Digital Calendar Alarm Day Clock - with 8" Large Screen Display, am pm, 5 Alarm, for Extra Large Impaired Vision People, The Aged Seniors, The Dementia, for Desk, Wall Mounted, White.

3. Streaming service

An Alzheimer’s patient may enjoy watching TV shows and movies from his youth. Consider purchasing a subscription streaming service that offers classic TV shows. The patient may need help with this technology.

4. Specialized phone

Cellphone manufacturers finally caught up to the needs of the elderly and dementia patients. Specialized phones only have a few options.

Patients can make calls by touching a picture of a loved one. 

We like the Jitterbug Smart2 No-Contract Easy-to-use Smartphone for Seniors by GreatCall, Black.

5. Music service

A patient may have a difficult time operating CD, tape, or record players. You may be able to show your loved one a few simple steps to access a music streaming service.

Create an easy-to-find playlist for your family member that includes all their favorite songs from throughout the years.

We like Amazon Music Unlimited.

6. Tablet

Some dementia patients can operate simple technology. If the disease has not progressed, they may be able to work a tablet.

Remove all superfluous apps to make the screen clutter-free and add memory games, streaming services, and photographs. 

We like the Fire HD 10 Tablet (64 GB, Plum, With Special Offers) + Amazon Standing Case (Plum) + 15W USB-C Charger.

7. Comfortable clothes

Consider your loved one’s preferred clothing choices before buying clothes as a gift. Even if you think your mother would be more comfortable in athletic apparel, she may have other ideas.

If your dad wears dress pants and a cardigan every day, consider replacing worn items. Changing clothing preferences at a late stage may be next to impossible. 

ยป MORE: When someone dies, they leave a life behind. This checklist takes you through the next steps.

 

Sensory Gift Ideas for Dementia Patients

If your loved one’s memory and capabilities have decreased, you may want to look for gift ideas that appeal to the senses. 

Of course, consider safety. Some Alzheimer’s patients compulsively put items in their mouths, so don’t buy any items that could be choking hazards.

8. Weighted blankets

Many people find comfort in weighted blankets. A weighted blanket’s pressure may reduce anxiety in an older adult. If your loved one cannot handle such a large item, consider purchasing a weighted lap pad or wrap.

We like this Weighted Blanket / Gray / 5, 10, 15, 20 lbs.

9. Doll or stuffed animal

You may hesitate to give a doll or stuffed animal to an adult, but Alzheimer’s patients sometimes get a lot of comfort from holding them.

Many look incredibly lifelike, and former caregivers may enjoy taking care of someone again.

We like this Therapeutic Weighted Teddy Bear - Gift for Anxiety - Comfort Bear - Anxiety Relief - 3 lb weighted bear- Therapy Bear - Anti-Stress Gift.

10. Fidgets 

Even though fidget spinners are popular items with children, manufacturers make similar items for adults. You can find a wide variety of styles for adult fidgets. Get one in the shape of a hand muff or one like an apron.

We like the Black ONO Roller - (The Original) Handheld Fidget Toy for Adults / Help Relieve Stress, Anxiety, Tension / Promotes Focus, Clarity / Compact, Portable Design.

11. Cookie dough

Who doesn’t love biting into a cookie fresh out of the oven? Get individually-portioned cookie dough for your loved one’s caregiver to bake when the mood strikes.

We like this Allergen Friendly Bake off Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough 2 pack 40 oz.

12. Simple games

Keep your loved one’s brain functioning — purchase simple games that may help stimulate their vocabulary. Some of these games may look similar to what a toddler would play, but they may keep the patient’s vocabulary from regressing. 

We like Puzzles for Alzheimer's Patients: Maintain Reading, Writing, Comprehension & Fine Motor Skills to Live a More Fulfilling Life.

Care Package Ideas for Dementia Patients

Instead of purchasing one large gift for the dementia patient in your life, you may consider making several care packages several times a year. Replace needed items in the care package and include treats and comfort items as well. 

13. Bath items

Older people have a difficult time managing large bottles of shampoo and soap. Include toiletry items in your care package.

Even if your loved one has memory issues, they may be loyal to a specific brand. Make sure you know his preferences before making a purchase.

Lavender offers a soothing effect. Consider lavender scented products for someone who suffers from anxiety. 

We like this Home Spa Gift Basket, 9 Piece Bath & Body Set for Women and Men, Lavender & Jasmine Scent - Contains Shower Gel, Bubble Bath, Body Lotion, Bath Salt, Scrub, Massage Oil, Loofah & Basket.

14. Wipes

Does your loved one have difficulty with the toileting process? Consider purchasing flushable wipes for them (or their caregiver) to use. 

We like these Simpleaf Flushable Wet Wipes / Eco-Friendly, Paraben & Alcohol Free / Hypoallergenic & Safe for Sensitive Skin / Soothing Aloe Vera Formula with Cucumber Scent / (25-Count) 4 Pack.

15. Drawings by children

The best gifts sometimes don’t cost any money. Ask children, grandchildren, or great-grandchildren to draw something. This gift will surely put a smile on your loved one’s face.

This is also a great gift to bring to someone in a hospital. It may be hard to know what to say when someone is sick, but a children’s heartfelt picture can comfort many older adults. 

16. Candy

What was your loved one’s favorite candy as a youngster? Try to find a favorite type of taffy from your loved one’s favorite childhood summer vacation spot. Or purchase a bag of hard candy your loved one kept in their purse. 

We like these ORGANIC Hard Candies - Lovely Co. 5oz Bag - Cherry, Grape & Apple Flavors / NO HFCS, GLUTEN or Fake Ingredients, 100% VEGAN & Kosher.

17. Gel seat cushion

Gel seat cushions may be too large for a typical gift basket, but they may bring a lot of comfort to those who spend a lot of time sitting in a wheelchair or lifting recliner.

We like this Gel Seat Cushion for Long Sitting, Seat Cushion for Office Chair, Chair Cushion for Desk Chair, Pressure Relief Gel Cushion Firm Coccyx Cushion for Back Tailbone Relief.

18. Blank cards

During lucid moments, your loved one may appreciate having a stock of blank cards at their disposal. Include a variety of cards, including birthday greetings and sympathy messages. Include stamps with the gift and make sure your loved one or their caregiver gets the addresses. 

We like these American Greetings Single Panel Blank Cards with Envelopes, Rainbow Colors (200-Count).

19. Nightlights

Some dementia patients spend a lot of nights awake. Make their homes safer — light the pathways to prevent your loved one from tripping.

We like this GE Vintage LED Night Light, Plug-In, Dusk-to-Dawn, Farmhouse Decor, Rustic, UL Listed, Ideal for Bedroom, Nursery, Kitchen, Bathroom, Black Cage, 38628, 1 Pack.

20. Socks

Who doesn’t love a new pair of socks? Make sure you know your loved one’s preferences before making the purchase. Some older people become set in their ways. 

We like these Copper Compression Socks for Men & Women Circulation - Best for Medical Running Hiking Cycling 15-20 mmHg.

Other Ways to Bring Comfort to a Dementia Patient

You may feel odd visiting someone without bringing a gift, but your loved one would probably appreciate your company more than any item you bring. 

Introduce yourself each time you visit. In fact, you may need to tell your loved one who you are throughout the visit.  

Do as much as you can to keep your loved one as tranquil as possible. Don’t draw any unnecessary attention to the fact that they don’t accurately remember something or someone. Never argue with a dementia patient. 

Many Alzheimer’s patients continually repeat stories. Be patient. Respond when appropriate. Telling your loved one that you have heard this story thousands of times does not help the situation. 

Talk soothingly to your loved one. It’s incredibly hard watching a loved one struggle with memory issues. If you’re a full-time caregiver, look for Alzheimer’s daycare centers in your area and practice self-care whenever possible. 

Icons sourced from FlatIcon.