14 Ideal Dementia Christmas Gifts to Buy for Your Loved One (+ Free Tips)

Chelsea Roderick

November 4, 2022

Choosing a Christmas gift for a loved one with dementia can be challenging, as you want to find something unique that will put a smile on their face without being too simple or too difficult for their current abilities.

The first step towards finding the ideal Christmas gift for your loved one is to find out which stage of dementia they are at and buy presents according to that. Below we have listed out gifts suitable for all stages, plus gifts ideal for early, mid and later stages of dementia, to help you find a gift easily.

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

Read to the end and you will find a free downloadable PDF with free tips on how to create a dementia-friendly Christmas.

Gifts Suitable for All

1. Relish Dementia Radio

Why not give the gift of musical joy this Christmas with our dementia radio? Picture your loved one tapping their toes in time to their favourite songs or getting up to dance to a Christmas classic. The radio has been specially designed for people living with dementia, but is also ideal for those just looking for a simple radio as it includes an easy control panel, colour contrast for better visibility and large buttons. It can be programmed to your loved one’s personal tastes.

Top Tip: Pre-programme your loved one's favourite station, so they can listen straight away when they open the radio on Christmas Day.

Suitable for any stage of dementia.

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Ideal Christmas gifts for early stages of dementia

2. All About Us Storytelling Board Game

One of the best dementia-friendly board games ideal for family time on Christmas Day, All About Us gets players to retell important moments in their life all the way from childhood. It brings back happy memories from times gone by, stimulating the mind and helping deepen relationships with loved ones. Who knows what stories you’ll learn about each other this Christmas! What’s also great about this game is that there’s no right or wrong way to play it, so if a certain question or decade is difficult to remember or talk about, just move on to the next one! The aim of the game is to get talking!

Top Tip: Reminiscing about times gone by can be emotional and joyful for a person with dementia. Listen intently and make sure they have enough space to explore the memories that come up.

Suitable for early stages of dementia.

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3. 100-Piece Puzzle 4-Pack

If your loved one enjoys wiling away an afternoon completing a jigsaw puzzle, this gift is for them. With four inspiring, colourful scenes to choose from, they can be transported to a tropical island, a sunset scene in Paris, a camping trip or deep inside a jungle. Complete the puzzle as a group or independently, depending on your loved one's needs.

Top tip: Christmas Day can be overwhelming, and even more so for people with dementia. Doing a puzzle in a quiet room may provide a welcome distraction if it all gets a bit much.

Suitable for early stages of dementia.

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4. Wordsearch

This wordsearch book is a great Christmas gift for problem solvers. It is excellent for brain training and can help promote a sense of accomplishment. There are two levels included, Level 1 puzzles which are simpler and Level 2 puzzles which are slightly more challenging. Lettering is large and easy to read to support those with a visual impairment.

Top Tip: Start with the Level 1 puzzles. Once your loved one has completed those, they’ll feel even more accomplished by tackling the slightly harder Level 2 puzzles.

Suitable for early stages of dementia.

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5. Home Album Reminiscence Cards

Christmas is a perfect time to sit and reminisce about the old times. These reminiscence cards provide the perfect conversation starters. The pack contains 15 cards with pictures evoking familiar scenes from home, with conversation prompts on the back. Watch your loved one’s eyes light up when they tell you about letters they wrote to an old friend or the first birthday cake they remember.

Top Tip: Get the whole family involved with this activity for a real bonding session. Younger children will enjoy the pictures, while older children and adults can take turns asking questions, reading the cards and telling stories.

Suitable for early stages of dementia.

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6. Musical Bingo Game

Musical Bingo is a fun interactive Christmas gift for a loved one with dementia who loves music and games. The whole family can get involved as you play the CD and identify which instrument is playing. Recognisable instruments may evoke positive memories for your loved one, especially if they enjoyed playing in an orchestra or watching live music.

Top Tip: Encourage your loved one to share any positive memories that come up when listening to the instruments. You may find the game uncovers stories you’ve never heard before!

Suitable for early stages of dementia.

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Ideal Christmas gifts for mid stages of dementia

7. Bathing Birds 35-Piece Jigsaw Puzzle

Bird watchers and gardeners alike will be thrilled to receive this puzzle of birds bathing in a beautiful garden. The striking colours and larger puzzle pieces support those with dexterity or vision difficulties. The puzzle includes prompts to help spark conversations and evoke positive feelings.

Top Tip: This jigsaw is perfect for completing alongside a grandchild. A shared sense of purpose and accomplishment promotes joy and togetherness.

Suitable for mid stages of dementia.

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8. Snakes & Ladders and Ludo Board Game Set

Two classic games are included in this fun-filled dementia-friendly board game set: Snakes and Ladders, and Ludo. Choose one game to play Christmas morning while the turkey is cooking, and watch as your loved one’s competitive streak comes out! The aim is to finish before your opponents.

Top Tip: If your loved one is joining you from their home, playing a game is a positive way to channel anxious energy from being in a different environment.

Suitable for mid stages of dementia.

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9. Animal Category Snap Card Game

Play a traditional family card game this Christmas when you buy your loved one Animal Snap. Cards are beautifully illustrated with vibrant animals, from farmyard favourites to exotic creatures. It’s a great game to play alongside younger family members, too!

Top Tip: Once you’ve finished playing snap, use the cards to discuss your favourite animals or which animals you’ve seen before.

Suitable for mid stages of dementia.

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10. Golf Target Game

Golfers will be chuffed to receive this Golf Target game this Christmas. It’s the perfect lighthearted group game to enjoy after Christmas dinner. Roll out the mat and aim for the holes with colourful bags. Whoever gets closest to the hole wins! Players can play while standing or sitting.

Top Tip: This is a great game to enjoy year-round at summer picnics and birthday parties. Don’t save it just for Christmas! It’s sure to become a family favourite.

Suitable for mid stages of dementia.

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11. Track Marble Maze

The Track Marble Maze is a great Christmas gift for promoting a sense of achievement. It’s the right combination of challenging yet calming as you tilt the track to guide the marble around the course to the end. It’s lightweight and easy to hold with safety screws and curved corners.

Top Tip: This activity is great if your loved one is having a hard time communicating and needs to focus on something physical.

Suitable for mid stages of dementia.

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Ideal Christmas gifts for the later stages of dementia

12. Fidget Widget Tool Kit

The Fidget Widget Tool Kit is a fantastic soothing Christmas gift for a loved one with later-stage dementia. Containing all five of our tried and tested fidget widgets, your loved one can pick which toy to engage with. There is no right or wrong way to use the fidget widgets, and they’re great for soothing busy hands and agitated minds.

Top Tip: Keep a fidget widget close at all times, even when travelling. They’re small enough to fit in your loved one’s handbag, travel bag or glove compartment in the car.

Suitable for late stages of dementia.

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13. Garden Joys Scents and Sounds Kit

Saunter down the garden path of the past with your loved one this Christmas with this garden sensory kit. It’s a meaningful way to evoke fond memories of time spent outdoors enjoying the garden. The kit contains a CD with familiar garden sounds, plus scents of rose and geranium, cut grass and honeysuckle to delight your senses.

Top Tip: Make sure you do this activity in a quiet, scentless room to maximise the impact of the sensory experience.

Suitable for late stages of dementia.

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14. Magnificent Birds Aquapaints Set

A tremendous artistic activity for Christmas Day, and every other day for that matter, is the Magnificent Birds aquapaints set. The set contains five different scenes of resplendent exotic birds to choose from. The beautiful colours are revealed by a simple stroke of water on a paintbrush. When the water dries, the colour fades back to white, so it can be used time and again.

Top Tip: An aquapaints session is an excellent way for grandchildren to spend time with a loved one with dementia. Communicating through art is therapeutic and bonding.

Suitable for late stages of dementia.

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Tips for a Dementia-Friendly Christmas

We’ve pulled together this handy guide to help you create a relaxing Christmas that the whole family can enjoy together. You can also download and print the guide and stick it to your fridge or share it with your family.

Download the printable guide here.

Tips for Choosing the Right Gift for Someone With Dementia

Buying gifts at Christmas can be tricky, no matter who you’re buying for. But buying for someone with dementia can feel extra complex, though, with our help, it needn’t be. Here are some tips to help you feel confident you’re selecting the right gift for your loved one with dementia.

Match the gift to ability

Cognitive ability will diminish over time for a person living with dementia. So, it’s important to buy them a gift they can engage with that is not frustratingly hard or patronisingly easy.

The best way to identify your loved one’s ability is to take our Find Your Stage quiz. If you’re still not sure, ask a family member, friend or carer who sees them more regularly for their opinion.

Think about hobbies and interests

This is a good tip for buying Christmas gifts full stop, regardless of if your loved one has dementia or not. Our loved ones’ interests don’t just disappear when they receive a dementia diagnosis, so think about what they enjoy.

We provide plenty of themed dementia-friendly products that tie into hobbies and interests.

Don’t overwrap!

It can be tempting to cover your Christmas gifts in sellotape and fussy adornments, but for your loved one with dementia, this could actually create some stress. Put your gifts in a simple box or use easy-to-tear wrapping paper with minimal tape.

Pick a gift that will engage or soothe

Depending on where your loved one is at in their dementia journey, they may benefit from more engagement and stimulation, or they may benefit from relaxation and soothing activities. Think about which your loved one needs more when selecting your Christmas gift.

Don’t worry!

Armed with these tips and a bountiful selection of dementia-friendly gifts available at Relish, you will find the perfect gift for your loved one. Remember, it’s the thought that counts above all.

Find the perfect Christmas gift for someone with dementia

At Relish, we’ve developed a full range of dementia-friendly products with wellbeing in mind. Our products aim to bring joy and connection to people with dementia and their caregivers all year round, not just at Christmas. Check out our full range of dementia Christmas gifts today.