14 Ideal Gifts for People with Dementia and Alzheimer’s

Chelsea Roderick

July 19, 2022

Buying a gift for somebody is a lovely gesture, but it can often bring stress as you want to make sure they’ll like your choice, with even more pressure added around holidays and buying for several people. Buying a gift for someone with dementia can further add to these worries. You still have all the same concerns around making sure they’ll like what you choose, but on top of that, you’re not sure whether that person’s abilities or tastes have changed whilst living with dementia. Below we provide tips for buying gifts for someone with dementia, as well as our top pick dementia gifts, including sensory gifts and presents for Mums and Dads.

Tips for Buying Presents for People with Dementia

Dementia gifts are a great way to show your loved ones (or carers of those living with dementia) that you are thinking of them by making an effort to find something they can genuinely enjoy.

When buying gifts for people living with dementia, it’s useful to understand that:

  • The person you are buying for might not be able to do things like they used to. They might feel more confused than before or could even get more agitated than usual.

  • Everybody’s experience with dementia is different, so if you don’t know what their current interests or needs are, it can be helpful to ask their primary caregiver, family member, or friend.

  • Understanding their current interests and abilities can help with what to buy for someone with dementia. An arts and crafts dementia gift is a nice idea if they are creative.

  • Find the right level of challenge if you’re considering buying puzzles for a loved one with dementia or Alzheimer’s. As long as the right stage has been identified, you won’t offend the person you are buying for by getting them a puzzle that is too simple or too hard. Find the correct stage of dementia here.

  • For a present that can be enjoyed throughout all stages of dementia, consider something musical. The positive impact of music on people with dementia has been understood for some time, with the NHS now trialling prescribing music to Alzheimer’s patients and hospital staff to reduce heart rates, agitation, and distress.

  • Typical group games played might be too much for somebody living with dementia. However, there are still dementia-friendly group games and activities that everyone can enjoy when families get together and play group games.

  • With the right understanding of the person’s needs and abilities, you can find a game or activity that will help make someone smile, spark a happy memory, or create a sense of connection.

Dementia-Friendly Gift Ideas For A Loved One

Looking for a great gift to give a loved one with dementia? Look no further. Below we have compiled a great range of dementia gifts to suit all stages of dementia, plus different interests.

Relish Dementia Radio

A very popular gift for people with dementia is this dementia radio, designed for all stages of dementia. It’s accessible and straightforward to use with an easy control panel, large buttons and colour contrast for better visibility. The radio includes a handy personalisation panel on the top that allows you to programme based on your loved one’s personal preferences. As well as promoting joy, playing music has been shown to slow down cognitive decline and encourage brain plasticity in elderly adults. You might even see your loved one hum along or tap their foot in time to their favourite songs.

Suitable for any stage of dementia.

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Relish's dementia friendly radio

Track Marble Maze

Entertaining, calming, yet challenging, this is an activity for those who love a mission. The aim is to guide the marble around the maze to the end of the course by tilting the track with both hands. It’s ideal for improving coordination and dexterity and is sure to give a sense of achievement when the marble reaches the end of the course. Designed to be lightweight, with safety screws and curved corners for the best user experience.

Suitable for people in the mid to late stages of dementia.

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A person playing with a Track Marble Maze, moving a small blue ball round the wooden track

All About Us Board Game

This board game is an ideal group activity for friends and families to spend time together. The first of its kind, this is a life-storytelling game designed to invite players to explore their life all the way from childhood to the present moment. For those with memory loss, it’s a great way to stimulate happy memories and engage with identity, thoughts and feelings. It helps promote independence, a sense of purpose and build closer relationships with loved ones.

Suitable for people in the early stages of dementia.

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All About Us family board game with large and colourful game pieces and game board.

Home Album Reminiscence Cards

Sit down and relax with your loved one over these reminiscence cards. They provide the perfect cue to take a trip down memory lane, reminiscing and smiling about memories and joys. Each pack contains 15 cards with pictures and conversation prompts designed to make you chat about the things you love. It’s the ideal gift for promoting comfort and calm and nurturing your connection.

Suitable for people in the early stages of dementia.

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Home Album reminscence photo cards to encourage conversations with those living with dementia

Animal Bingo

Wander the streets of Paris with an accordion playing and revisit the Scottish Highlands with traditional bagpipes. Music lovers are sure to enjoy this game of bingo. Up to 8 players can join together to listen to musical sounds and mark the instruments on their bingo sheet. The first player with a full house shouts, “Bingo!” A great activity to play at a family get-together where all the family can get involved. Using evocative melodies and illustrations rather than numbers, this game is dementia-friendly and a whole lot of fun.

Suitable for people in the mid stages of dementia.

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Animal bingo board game designed for those with dementia and alzheimers

Sensory Gifts for People with Dementia

Buying a sensory gift for a loved one living with dementia is amazing for enrichment. Activities that stimulate the senses can really improve mood and overall wellbeing - especially in the later stages of dementia.

Relish Tactile Turn - Dementia Fidget Toy

This sensory toy is great for keeping hands busy and alleviating anxiety and stress. It focuses on doing rather than accomplishing as there is no right or wrong way to use it. It’s easy to hold with different colours and material textures for enhanced sensory stimulation. It helps relieve agitation and boredom as it can be in constant motion. It can be a way for people with dementia to express themselves if they can no longer communicate using words.

Suitable for people in the late stages of dementia.

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A yellow and blue, soft tactile turn fidget toy suitable for those living with dementia

Turn Fidget Toy

Designed in collaboration with the Alzheimer’s Society and the University of Lancashire, The Fidget Widget engages repetitive movements, touch and feel to keep busy hands engaged and help calm unsettled minds. There is no right way to use the toy, so users can enjoy exploring different ways to interact with it. It’s perfect for relieving tension and restlessness.

Suitable for people in the late stages of dementia.

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Tactile Matching Game

For a soothing and calming activity for those in the mid to late stages of dementia, try this Tactile Matching Game. Players are encouraged to feel and match the textured squares and match them to the right image, which can help trigger positive memories and personal stories. Alternatively, the tactile squares can be a conversation starter as you discuss how they feel. Perfect for cognitive stimulation.

Suitable for people in the late stages of dementia.

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Wooden 'turn' fidget widget with spinner from Relish, developed for those living with dementia

Gifts for Mums with Dementia

Buying a gift for your mum with dementia, you want it to be special and personalised to her interests and likes. Activities that help encourage positive memories from the past can be a really lovely way to add sparks of joy and promote wellbeing.

The Baking Cupboard Magnetic Picture Board

Ideal for mums who love to bake, The Baking Cupboard is a memory game that helps evoke happy memories from the past. The retro-styled magnetic pieces have been thoughtfully designed to create a comforting and familiar scene for a person with dementia that loves baking. Bold colours and easy-to-handle shapes can be placed onto the magnetic board or simply used as conversation starters. Conversation prompts are included with the game. This activity is a great alternative for those who struggle with puzzles.

Suitable for people in the mid to late stages of dementia.

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The Baking Cupboard' magnet board with large magnets of baking tools and ingredients

Dancing Shoes 63-Piece Jigsaw Puzzle

If your mum loves to dance, then this might be the perfect puzzle for her! Depicting a retro scene from a vibrant jazz nightclub, this evocative puzzle is bound to stir up memories of memorable nights out dancing. High contrast colours and chunky puzzle pieces aid visibility and dexterity. The puzzle can be a fun activity to complete with friends and family and is sure to give a sense of accomplishment upon completion. Conversation prompts are included inside the box to encourage social participation.

Suitable for people in the early stages of dementia.

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63-piece jigsaw puzzle of people dancing in front of a jazz band at a jazz and blues bar

Home Sweet Home Scents and Sounds

A reassuring, comforting and calming gift that whisks people away down memory lane with familiar scents and sounds from home. Play the CD whilst smelling matching aromas of baby powder, fruit cake and shoe polish to evoke happy memories of home. The set includes 1 CD, 3 smelling jars and 3 scents specifically designed to spark joy and unlock personal stories.

Suitable for people in the late stages of dementia.

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Home Sweet Home scent and sound sensory activity for seniors with dementia

Gifts for Dads with Dementia

Whether your Dad is a DIY enthusiast, a gardener or a golfer, getting him a present that links to his passions is sure to spark joy and stimulate his memory.

Golf Target Game

For dads who love golf, this is the perfect gift to enjoy with family and friends. Roll out the target mat on the floor and throw the lightweight bags aiming at the holes. Whoever gets the closest to the hole wins! This activity promotes fun, lighthearted competitiveness and dexterity. The bright colours and easy-to-hold bags aid use. Can be played while sitting or standing.

Suitable for people in the mid stages of dementia.

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Garden Wonders Aquapaint

For gardening enthusiasts and those with a creative streak, this Aquapaint set is ideal. Depicting everyday garden scenes, green-fingered Dads will feel right at home with this painting set. With just a dash of water added to a paintbrush, each stroke reveals a colourful scene underneath. No need to worry about making a mess or going outside the lines. Ideal for promoting creativity and inspiring conversation. What’s more, the 5 art sheets are designed to be used again and again.

Suitable for people in the late stages of dementia.

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Garden Wonders aquapaint art activity that creates bright colourful paintings of garden scenes

Bathing Birds 35-Piece Jigsaw Puzzle

Bird lovers, gardeners and nature enthusiasts will enjoy completing this idyllic scene of birds enjoying a bird bath in a peaceful garden. With larger pieces, the puzzle is ideal for aiding those with dexterity difficulties. A lovely activity to complete alone or with loved ones. Inside the box are conversation prompts to help spark conversations, evoke memories and promote a sense of wellbeing.

Suitable for people in the early stages of dementia.

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Birds 35-Piece Jigsaw Puzzle of colourful birds in a bird bath in a flowery garden

Visit Relish to find the perfect gift for somebody living with dementia.