It’s that time of year when we need to buy holiday presents for our family and friends. If you have a loved one with dementia, you might be stuck trying to figure out an appropriate and useful gift they can safely enjoy. We’ve listed ten unique gift ideas for someone with dementia, for you to use as your guide this holiday season.

1. Large Visual Clock

Date and time display clock on kitchen counter

Click here to order this version from Amazon.

A large clock that lists the day of the week, time of day and calendar date, can be very helpful for someone with dementia, as they often have trouble remembering dates. With the correct details for the current time of day, your loved one will feel more reassured. 

2. Personalized Gifts with Family Photos

Oven mitten gift for grandma

Pick out and customize this potholder from Shutterfly. 

Those with dementia often experience memory loss, including recognizing family or friends. To surround them with happy memories as well help remind them who’s who, consider making or buying personalized gifts with family photos and names. 

Websites like Shutterfly or Etsy often endless options for everything from blankets to mugs. Just remember to not only include images, but names as well to help your loved one identify family and friends. You could also consider a memory card game that has names and pictures.   

3. Crafting Supplies 

AARP explains how art therapy can significantly help those with dementia express themselves creatively. Even if your loved one experiences language loss or issues, drawing or painting can help them communicate in a new way. Consider buying appropriate crafting supplies or kits for fun activities. For example, this watercolor set can be enjoyed by those with all abilities.

4. A Record Player 

Green Victrola record player

Buy this “throwback” Victrola from Walmart! 

In keeping with nostalgia trends, record players are popular with all ages, which means there are many affordable, compact and easy options on the market. Consider buying your loved one a record player with a few records of their favorite artists. The records might remind them of their youth. Additionally, they might also know how to use a record player better than digital music options. What’s more, this also gives you gift options for future birthdays or holidays, as you can buy more records!  

5. Sensory Object 

This is one of our gift ideas for someone with dementia in later stages. Restlessness is a common symptom of late-stage dementia, which causes people to fidget or move their hands more often, according to the Alzheimer’s organization. Try to find sensory-rich objects to occupy your loved one’s hands. For example, this custom pillow is made specifically as a sensory object with lots of materials and items that can also help with fidgeting. 

6. Jigsaw Puzzles 

Puzzles help those with dementia both with dexterity while fitting pieces together, as well as stimulating their cognitive function. Keep in mind the stage of dementia when picking out puzzles. You might want to opt for simpler versions with fewer pieces for later stages. Refer to this guide from Daily Caring to give you an idea of what type of puzzle you should buy. 

7. Book of Crossword Puzzles 

While there is no cure or proven way to slow the progression of dementia, scientific studies have shown that crossword puzzles can have cognitive benefits. You can order large print crossword puzzles to make it easier to see. Alternatively, there are dementia-specific puzzles packs available. 

8. Automatic or Motion-Sensor Night Lights 

Give the gift of ease with automatic or motion-sensor night lights. Along with restlessness, your loved one with dementia might have trouble sleeping or need to get up during the night to go to the restroom. Make their life easier with a night light system in each room.

Check out these various options from Amazon

At Vineyard Bluffton, all of our memory care apartments have fully-customizable motion-sensor light systems.  

9. Adaptive Clothing 

When buying clothing for someone with dementia, make sure they are adaptive so that they can be easily put on and taken off. Especially in the early stages, independence is important for those with dementia. Adaptive clothing is comfy, soft and uses things like velcro or elastic to make dressing easier. Keep this in mind when purchasing clothes or consider brands that specialize in senior-specific clothes, like Buck & Buck

10. Monthly Flower or Plant Subscription 

Subscription services are the gift that keeps on giving. While bringing a holiday plant like a poinsettia or rosemary tree is a festive gift, with monthly deliveries, your loved one can enjoy a new present every month. House plant box has options for all types of potted plants (including pet-friendly). If you think taking care of a house plant might be too much for your loved one, you could also consider a monthly flower delivery, like Bloomsy Box

This Holiday Season, Try One of These Gift Ideas for Someone With Dementia 

While it can be challenging to find a present for your loved one that they’ll enjoy and use, these gift ideas for someone with dementia will fit the bill, no matter the stage. Remember that each person with dementia has their own desires, so make sure to consider their individual taste and interest when buying a present. 

Lastly, the most important gift is spending time with someone to show that you care.

At Vineyard Bluffton, where all residents live Life, Their Way, we respect the individuality of each person which includes individualized gifts just for them! We hope you have a lovely holiday season and a Happy New Year!