13 Thoughtful Gift Ideas for Moms & Grandmas with Dementia

13 Thoughtful Gift Ideas for Moms & Grandmas with Dementia

By Bianca Ansbro-Elliott on, March 08, 2023


Choosing a Mother’s day gift for an elderly mom or grandma with dementia can be tricky. The cognitive changes brought on by dementia can affect a person’s likes, dislikes, needs, and capabilities. This can make it more challenging to find the perfect present but, fortunately, there are plenty of dementia-friendly gift options that can bring joy to your family members.

Tips for Choosing the Right Gift for a Mom with Dementia

Any thoughtful gift is chosen with the interests and needs of the recipient in mind – and the same is true for mothers and grandmothers with dementia!

1. Tailor the gift to your loved one’s capabilities

Dementia is a progressive condition. A person’s needs will change as they move through the different stages. The ideal gift for a person with early-stage dementia is unlikely to suit someone with advanced dementia, so it’s important to tailor your gifts accordingly. Always consider the capabilities of your loved one when buying gifts, as they are unlikely to enjoy something they can’t engage with.

If you’re unsure which stage of dementia your loved one is at, take our Find Your Stage quiz for guidance.

2. Bear in mind any other conditions

Dementia can affect people at any age, but it is most common among older members of the population. Therefore, it is also important to keep any other health or mobilities they may have in mind.

3. Reflect your loved one’s personality

Finally (and, most importantly), the best gifts are those that reflect the personality of your loved one. No matter what stage of dementia a person has, a familiar song, scent, or photograph can trigger pleasant memories. If you can find something that speaks to their personal hobbies and interests, you are more likely to spark engagement and joy.

Gift Ideas for Moms and Grandmas with Dementia

1. ‘Monet’s Garden’ - A Jigsaw Puzzle for Early-Stage Dementia

Visually-pleasing puzzles can be a highly effective way to engage and connect with people with dementia. If you’re looking for the perfect gift for a mom or grandmother with early-stage dementia, a jigsaw puzzle like this Monet’s Garden puzzle may be just the thing.

Monet’s Garden jigsaw puzzle, an ideal gift for a mom with dementia

The cognitive stimulation of games and puzzles has also been found to improve the overall health of people with dementia by:

  • Reducing stress and anxiety
  • Improving mood
  • Boosting memory skills
  • Improving overall cognitive function
  • Reducing behavioral disturbances and agitation

Suitable for early stages of dementia.

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2. The ‘Sunset in Paris’ 100-piece Jigsaw Puzzle

Sunset in Paris jigsaw puzzle, an ideal Mother’s day gift for elderly mothers

Puzzles and games are fantastic gifts for people with early-stage dementia, as they create opportunities to spend quality time, converse, and connect. Working on a jigsaw together can encourage social interaction, help to maintain cognitive function and verbal communication skills, and set up a positive, light-hearted atmosphere that boosts mood. Solitary puzzles can reduce stress and anxiety, bringing a sense of calm to your loved one’s life.

Depending on your mom or grandma’s capabilities, they may enjoy a larger puzzle. Relish stocks a wide range of jigsaw puzzles with varying piece numbers - check out scenes like Sunset in Paris for a more challenging gift!

Suitable for early stages of dementia.

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3. Blooming Lovely - a Jigsaw Puzzle for Mid-Stage Dementia

Blooming Lovely jigsaw puzzle, an ideal Mothers Day gift for elderly mothers

Choosing the right dementia-friendly game will depend heavily on your mom’s or grandma’s personal capabilities. Jigsaw puzzles come in all sizes, and those with too many pieces may fail to interest people with mid-stage dementia.

Instead, consider simpler puzzles like the Blooming Lovely jigsaw set. With only 13 pieces, this puzzle is suitable for people with reduced physical or cognitive capabilities, but it has a bright, engaging design that is sure to please.

Suitable for mid stages of dementia.

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4. Lily Pond - a Jigsaw Puzzle for Mid-Stage Dementia

The Relish Life online store offers a range of jigsaw designs, making it easier to find an image that speaks to your loved one’s interests. For example, nature lovers may enjoy the tranquillity of the ‘Lily Pond’ puzzle.

Lily Pond jigsaw puzzle, an ideal gift for moms with dementia

Suitable for mid stages of dementia.

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5.All About Us Dementia-Friendly Board Game

If your mom or grandma isn’t into jigsaws, there are plenty of other interactive games you can play together. All About Us is a board game developed specifically for people with dementia and can be played with any number of people.

All About Us family board game with brightly coloured playing pieces and cards and easy to read game board

All About Us is a game best suited for those with early-stage dementia, but there’s no right or wrong way to play. This storytelling game encourages players to retell stories, revisit fond memories, and engage in group conversation. It’s the perfect tool to engage and stimulate loved ones while bonding over shared experiences.

Suitable for early stages of dementia.

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6. Snakes and Ladders Board Game

For those in the mid-stages of dementia, classic board games like Snakes and Ladders or Ludo can stimulate engagement and invite interaction.

Snakes and Ladders and Ludo, an ideal gift idea for a mom with dementia

The familiarity of such well-known games may help to put loved ones with dementia at ease, and their simple format can make them more appealing for those with memory loss. However, they still encourage conversation and social interaction, as both games can be played in groups - perfect for Mother’s Day or a birthday afternoon!

Suitable for mid stages of dementia.

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7. Relish Dementia Radio - Suitable for all stages of dementia

Music is a powerful tool for evoking positive emotions and triggering happy memories, so buy your loved one a radio or other easy-listening device to play their favorite tunes.

Relish’s dementia radio, an ideal gift for a mom or grandma with dementia

Studies have found that music therapy has significant benefits for people with dementia, such as:

  • Improvements in overall cognition
  • Improvements in verbal communication
  • Reduction in anxiety and depression
  • Reduced agitation and stress
  • Improvements in overall mood

A radio can also be used to prompt conversation during visits. Discussing a particular song or recalling a memory attached to a piece of music can be highly therapeutic for people with dementia, while providing them with the cognitive stimulation necessary to maintain a good quality of life. What’s more, this simple music player has been designed to be easy to use for those with dementia.

Suitable for any stage of dementia.

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8. Aquapaint Art Therapy Kits

Arts and crafts aren’t only fun; they can also be therapeutic! Art therapy can improve the overall well-being and quality of life of people with dementia, so a craft kit may be the perfect gift. If you want to buy an arty gift for a grandmother or mom living with dementia, we suggest the Garden Wonders Aquapaint kit.

Garden Wonders Aquapaint kit, an ideal gift for a mom or grandma with dementia

These beautifully-designed painting kits are specifically designed for those with mid-to-late stage dementia. Each set is easy to use and reusable, making them the perfect gift for a creative mom.

Suitable for late stages of dementia.

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If your loved one isn’t much of a gardener, don’t fret! There are a wide variety of Aquapaint kits to choose from, ranging from ‘Farm Memories’ to ‘Wonderful Animals'.

Wonderful Animals Aquapaint kit, an ideal gift for a mom with dementia

Suitable for late stages of dementia.

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9. The Garden Joys Sensory Stimulation Kit

Certain sights, sounds, and especially scents can bring long-buried memories rushing back, even in people entering the later stages of dementia. The Garden Joys scents and sounds kit is just one example of how you can harness the power of olfactory memory to bring a smile to your loved one’s face.

Garden Joys scent and sound sensory activity kit with CD and scent pots

If you would like to try using sensory stimulation to relax a loved one with dementia, it’s important to consider which scents are most likely to hold meaning for them. For example:

  • An avid cook may enjoy the scent of herbs and spices
  • A beach-lover may appreciate audio of the ocean
  • Certain flowers or perfumes can hold deep personal meaning

Suitable for late stages of dementia.

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10. Visit Memory Lane with Home Album Reminiscence Cards

Dementia, and other memory-loss conditions can cause a loved one to lose touch with themselves and their personal history. Sometimes, the perfect gift for a mother with dementia is one that helps them to reminisce and to reconnect with old memories.

Photograph albums are a popular way to stimulate a chat about the past, especially for those with early-stage dementia. Home Album Reminiscence cards can spark conversation, trigger pleasant memories, and help to keep your loved ones engaged.

Home album reminiscence cards, an ideal gift for a mom or grandma with dementia

Suitable for early stages of dementia.

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11. The Baking Cupboard Magnetic Picture Board

When photos fail, there are lots of other reminiscence tools to stimulate the mind and prompt happy memories. Magnetic picture boards, like the Baking Cupboard, are designed to stimulate and bring joy to people with mid-stage dementia.

Baking Cupboard magnetic picture board, an ideal gift for a mom or grandma with dementia

The moveable pieces, the flexibility of gameplay, and the bright, detailed design can all engage someone with a love of baking. Of course, the best gifts reflect the interests of the recipient, so it can be worth exploring other available options (like the Handyman picture board).

Suitable for mid to late stages of dementia.

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12. The Fidget Widget Toolkit

For people with late-stage dementia, tactile items, and fidget toys can provide a much-needed outlet for agitation and restlessness. Fidget toys are thought to generally reduce stress and anxiety in those who use them, which can be especially beneficial for people with dementia.

The Fidget Widget Toolkit is a set of five unique widgets, each with a smooth, tactile design.

Fidget Widget toolkit, an ideal gift for a mom or grandma with dementia

It can take some trial and error to find a toy that suits your loved one’s needs. The variety of widgets in the Fidget Toolkit gives your loved one the freedom to explore different sensory experiences and identify their preferences.

Suitable for late stages of dementia.

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13. Tactile Turn Dementia Fidget Toy

Everyone likes to use fidget toys in different ways, and some people with dementia may not enjoy the cool, hard texture of widgets. For those who prefer soft, squishy textures, toys like the Tactile Turn may be more suitable.

Tactile turn is an ideal gift for a mom or grandma with dementia

The Tactile Turn is a good option for people experiencing late-stage dementia. This fidget toy is easy to hold and designed to be visually and textually pleasing. It has an unlimited range of motion and can be contorted or squished any which way, providing a good outlet for those with restless hands.

Suitable for late stages of dementia.

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Where to find dementia-friendly gifts for your mom or grandma this Mother’s Day

Finding an appropriate gift for someone with dementia can look like a daunting task, especially if you don’t know where to start! In many cases, identifying enjoyable activities for loved ones with dementia can take a little trial and error.

Luckily, Relish is a great place to browse for inspiration. Our wide range of products includes gifts for mothers and grandmothers of all personality types, with items suited to those at different stages of dementia.

Also, browse our full range of dementia-friendly games to find the perfect mothers day gift.

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