Buying a gift for a loved one who is living with dementia isn’t always straightforward. Their interests and tastes may have changed over time, and some gifts may pose the potential for confusion, especially if they’re in the later stages of dementia.
From sensory gifts to help evoke happy memories, to everyday items that can help make life easier, we’ve tried to ensure that there’s something here for the varying stages of the dementia journey, and which suit every budget.
The Able Label is a UK based clothing brand specialising in clothes that promote independence, without sacrificing style or quality. Their range of adaptive clothing for people living with dementia has been designed in collaboration with the Alzheimer’s Society UK, and uses hidden velcro fastenings and elasticated waistbands to make dressing easier.
The range includes daywear such as shirts, coats and trousers, as well as nightwear. They also offer accessories, such as scarves and shawls made from moisture wicking fabrics for those who need a little discreet protection over their clothes when eating or drinking.
20 percent of each item’s sale price goes to the Alzheimer’s Society to fund research and improve care and support for those affected by dementia.
Bud Sensory cushion
Dementia experts Find Memory Care have teamed up with UK charity Designability to create this sensory cushion that gently promotes reassurance, communication and reminiscence. On the surface the Bud cushion looks like a traditional quilted throw cushion, however once unfolded, it becomes an engaging sensory gift for people in the later stages of dementia.
Made from specially selected tactile fabrics, the cushion can be themed to your loved one by tucking meaningful items such as photographs and letters within the fabric petals, or by attaching larger items to the fabric loops. Unfolded, the cushion lays across the lap for a constant source of comfort and activity.
Rosebud reminder clock and calendar
The Rosebud clock has been specially designed for those living with dementia. It can prompt daily tasks, and helps to reduce the confusion and anxiety that can stem from unexpected events.
The large, clear interface displays the date and time, and automatically dims towards the evening which may help those who experience sundowning symptoms. It comes with 17 inbuilt notifications for daily tasks like meal times and medication prompts, as well as event notifications such as ‘you have a doctor’s appointment’ and ‘your family is visiting today’. You can also set personalised reminders using your own video, text and audio.
Relish radio and music player
Music can have a profoundly positive impact on those living with dementia – it can help to spark memories and emotions, create powerful points of connection with others, and soothe in those more difficult moments.
The Relish radio was designed in direct response to feedback from people living with Alzheimer’s and dementia, and their families. It features a simple to use control panel, with large buttons, separate on and off controls, and clear labelling. The radio has four customisable presets, so that your loved one can access their favourite radio station or playlist with a single touch of a button.
‘Garden Joys’ Scent and Sounds set
This sensory activity bundle is great for encouraging conversation, or if your loved one is unable to get outside into the garden as much as they used too.
Designed for those living with mid to late stage dementia, the set includes a range of scents that will be familiar to any garden enthusiast – from blooming roses, to freshly cut grass, and is accompanied by a CD of garden sounds. It’s an ideal afternoon activity that you can enjoy together with your loved one to unlock personal stories and provide a sense of calm.
As well as being a therapeutic activity, jigsaws may help improve mental speed and thought processes. The Piecing Together Collection from Gibsons was created after extensive research alongside dementia experts and within Age UK Centres. The puzzle images have been chosen to encourage conversation and reminiscence, featuring things like traditional holiday scenes, memories from the 50s and 60s, and iconic packaging of popular shopping brands.
The Black Dementia Company‘s range of dementia friendly jigsaw puzzles have been created to reflect some of the subcultures which exist within African and Caribbean culture, and help people connect with and share their heritage. They feature a combination of colour and black and white images to aid concentration and be kinder on older eyes.
Dementia charity Christmas cards
Two of the UK’s biggest dementia charities, Dementia UK and The Alzheimer’s Society, have both released their own ranges of Christmas cards this year. The money from the sale of each pack will go towards the life-changing research and resources they provide to those living with dementia, and if you’re planning on sending cards to friends and family, it’s a fantastic way to show your support.
Do you have any recommendations for dementia friendly Christmas gifts? Head over to our Facebook page to share them with the Elder Community.
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