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Our Favorite Holiday Gifts for Those With Dementia

Finding the perfect gift for your loved ones during the holiday season can be a challenge, especially when shopping for those with dementia. As dementia progresses, individuals with the disease may find that their interests and abilities also change over time. When choosing the perfect gift for your loved one with dementia, it’s important to consider their personal likes, capabilities, hobbies and the stage of dementia they’re currently experiencing. Typically, those with dementia experience three different stages of the disease: early, middle, and late. During these stages, individuals may experience personality changes, loss of communication skills, and other behavioral changes. Using the different stages of dementia as a guide for choosing the perfect holiday gift can make the process a lot less challenging. Our team at Maplewood Senior Living has created a complete guide to holiday shopping for your loved one with dementia. As you continue your holiday shopping, consider using the tips below to reduce stress and increase the likelihood of choosing something your loved one with thoroughly enjoy:

Gifts for Individuals in Early Stage Dementia

According to the Alzheimer’s Society, in the early stages of dementia, a person’s symptoms are often mild and not always easy to notice. Those in the early stages of dementia may experience a subtle loss of memory, and reduced speed of thought, language, and perception. At this stage of the disease, gifts that are stimulating, practical, and have purpose are important to consider. Here are some of our favorite gift ideas:

  • Lumin. Lumin is an all-in-one smart device that is designed specifically for older adults with dementia. Lumin has the capacity to act as a phone, iPad, diary, computer, emergency pendant, radio, and newspaper all in one touchscreen. Lumin can be programmed to send safety alerts and medication reminders and offer video and phone calling services.
  • Activity and puzzle books. It’s important for those with dementia to keep their brains cognitively stimulated. Puzzles and books are great for exercising the brain while also providing entertainment. These adult activity books are full of easy puzzles, brain games, and coloring pages. Other books, such as this one, target short-term and long-term memory through puzzles and brain teasers.
  • Relaxation gifts. Self-care and relaxation are essential for everyone, especially for those with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. The first year of a dementia diagnosis can be especially challenging. If you want to provide a sense of comfort for your loved one, aromatherapy and scented items are great options. Flameless candles and oil diffusers have spa-like features that will help create a soothing atmosphere, perfect for a nighttime routine.  This sensory weighted blanket is specifically designed for those with dementia and can help with decreasing feelings of anxiety and frustration.

Gifts for Individuals with Middle Stage Dementia

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, during the middle stages of dementia, which can last many years, the brain makes it difficult to express thoughts and perform routine tasks. During this stage, you make want to choose a gift that provides comfort or allows your loved one to express themselves creatively.

  • Fidget gifts. It’s not uncommon for those in the middle stages of dementia to experience frustration and anxiety. Toys that have a variety of textures and colors can stimulate the brain and reduce these unwanted feelings. Massage balls, like this one, can also help redirect anxious energy.
  • Express creativity. Therapy dough can reduce stress and tension while also giving your loved one a way to express themselves without using verbal communication skills, which may be difficult in the middle stages of the disease.
  • Provide purpose. Interactive companion gifts, such as this orange tabby cat, can provide a sense of purpose, independence, and comfort for your loved one. Those with dementia are at an increased risk of isolation and loneliness. These easy-to-care-for kittens provide constant companionship.

Gifts for Individuals with Late Stage Dementia

Late-stage dementia can last anywhere between several weeks to several years. Generally, those who are experiencing late-stage dementia require around-the-clock care. Sensory stimulating gifts for those in later stages of dementia could include a digital photo frame or music playlists filled with songs from your loved one’s childhood and teenage years. You might also consider gifts of comfort, such as fuzzy robes and slippers. This music therapy teddy bear combines the benefits of music and doll therapy, which provides comfort and feelings of nostalgia for your loved one. 

Celebrating the Holidays at Maplewood Senior Living

The holidays are a time of celebration and connecting with family and friends. However, we know the holiday season can present unique challenges for those with dementia. Our staff at Maplewood Senior Living are committed to providing the tools and resources to help keep the holidays full of joy and stress-free. It’s never too early to start preparing for the holiday season—whether that means starting your shopping now or discussing holiday plans with your loved one. See how we can help—schedule a tour of one of our communities today.


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1 Gorham Island Rd

Westport, CT 06880


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