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Holiday Gift Guide for Seniors with Alzheimer’s or Dementia

A senior man hugs his daughter while holding a red wrapped gift.

The holiday shopping season has begun. What will you get your loved one who lives with memory loss?

The great news is that for every stage of dementia, there’s a wide array of great gifts for seniors with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia that may be perfect for them. 

No matter what gift you choose, remember that it’s important to keep these gifts simple. For an extra-special touch, you can tailor most of these gifts to fit your loved one’s personal likes and capabilities.

Above all, simply being with your loved one during the holidays and year-round can certainly fill them with immense joy and love.

What Our Dementia-Friendly Gift Ideas Can Do

Holiday gifts for seniors with dementia don’t have to look much different than those you would purchase for another aging loved one, but there are specific gift ideas that could really enhance the life of a senior with memory loss. 

We’ve focused on dementia-friendly gifts that could:

  • Increase safety
  • Create connection
  • Encourage social interaction
  • Spur memories
  • Reduce isolation
  • Inspire empathy
  • Promote independence
  • Offer comfort 
  • Relieve stress and anxiety

Take a look at our gift suggestions for seniors with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia below.

5 Great Gifts for Seniors with Alzheimer’s or Dementia: Early Stage (Mild) 

A memory box 

Creating a special memory box filled with items of sentimental value can not only remind your loved one of how much they’re cherished; it can also spark recollection and provide treasured reminders of beloved memories.

A box of cards with prestamped envelopes 

Writing heartfelt cards and personal notes to family members and friends can be an enjoyable activity for your loved one during the early stages of dementia. By providing blank cards and prestamped envelopes, you can help your loved one maintain this activity for as long as possible.

An adult coloring book 

How can a set of crayons and a coloring book be the ideal gift for a loved one dealing with early-stage dementia? Coloring is a great activity to improve manual dexterity in seniors, and it’s also an easy activity they can engage in with their grandkids or even adult children. 

A personalized photo album 

Take the time to put together a photo album with pictures of family and friends. In the album, label pictures with the name and relationship of the person in the photo to help your loved one identify who’s in the pictures and recall specific moments in time. 

Assorted jigsaw puzzles 

Puzzles can provide a healthy mental challenge for your loved one while also helping boost their short-term memory. In fact, studies have suggested puzzles and memory games decrease the damage that naturally happens in the brains of Alzheimer’s and dementia patients.

5 Great Gifts for Seniors with Dementia or Alzheimer’s: Mid Stage (Moderate) 

A medication dispenser 

You can find a medication dispenser with several different options, including automatically dispensing the correct medication at the appropriate time and also having the ability to verbally instruct your loved one when it’s time to take their medication.

A self-care spa day 

Scheduling a spa day for your loved one can always be a great gift idea. From professional manicures and pedicures to foot massages with wonderfully scented lotions, giving them the time to genuinely relax and be pampered is a great way to make them feel special.

A large-print clock 

Consider purchasing a large-print clock for your loved one. There are even options specifically made for people living with Alzheimer’s that show the date, day of the week, and time. You can put the clock in a strategic location in the house so they always have an accurate reference point about the day and time.

A locket necklace 

While your loved one may forget your name or face at some point, they can keep your picture close to their heart with a locket necklace. This gift provides a beautiful, sentimental reminder for them to look at, helping to ensure the memories you put inside will never fade away. 

A visitor’s journal for family to write in 

If your loved one lives in a senior living community, think about gifting them a journal for people to sign in as they visit. Friends and family can even write a little note about their time together, as well as the date and time they visited. This can help remind your loved one that people came to see them, and it also keeps track of their visitors for your information.

5 Great Gifts for Seniors with Alzheimer’s or Dementia: Late Stage (Severe) 

Stuffed or electronic animal companions 

Research has shown that having a pet can improve a person’s mental health and help relieve anxiety and depression. But, often, a person living with dementia can’t take care of a pet on their own. Robotic dogs or companion stuffed animals designed to feel like real animals can actually help mitigate loneliness and isolation for people living with dementia.

A weighted blanket 

Another gift idea that can help reduce your loved one’s anxiety, agitation and stress is a weighted blanket. The extra weight in the blanket can provide comforting pressure that lessens feelings of anxiety and stress.

A personalized life story book 

As your loved one’s memory falters, the best gift of all can simply be a way to help them look back and remember their life. You can make or buy a simple life story book that includes memory prompt cards that help spark vivid storytelling. You and other family members can fill in the blanks on each page, writing down when and where your loved one was born, the places they’ve traveled to, the children they’ve raised, and so on.

A music player with a personalized playlist 

For Alzheimer’s patients, music has been shown to reduce agitation and boost mood and memories, marking it a potential therapeutic tool. Consider downloading songs your loved one has enjoyed throughout their life to help improve their mood and lift their spirits when they’re feeling down.

A video streaming service 

Your loved one may enjoy watching TV shows and movies from their younger days, so purchasing a subscription to a streaming service that offers classic TV shows may be a great way to help them spend their downtime.

Give Your Loved One the Gift of a Memory Care Program 

At Freedom Village, we provide nationally recognized memory care services for loved ones with memory loss. Because dementia can slowly interfere with a person’s ability to manage everyday tasks, our personalized services focus on the specific needs of every individual we care for within a safe and stimulating environment. 

In the Freedom Village memory care neighborhood, residents benefit from the unique and innovative Heartfelt CONNECTIONS – A Memory Care Program®. This program offers people with Alzheimer’s and related dementias the care, respect, dignity and quality of life loved ones want for them.

We’re excited for you to learn more about the nationally recognized Heartfelt CONNECTIONS – A Memory Care Program®. 

If you want to learn more about how you can give your loved one the gift of a memory care program, contact us today.