Top six dementia-friendly gift ideas

It’s that time of the year again, and like most people, you’re probably gearing up to tackle the most important task of the year – Christmas shopping. Now, the kids are easy because, thanks to brilliant advertising from the toy shops, you should have already been presented with a list of options from them.


Things can get a bit trickier for your elderly relatives, especially if your loved one living with dementia. Not to worry, we’ve picked out some gift ideas that they’ll love. We’ve handpicked some the best presents you can buy to help them really make the most of life. Here are our top six dementia-friendly gifts:


1. Talking watches

A talking watch will not only show your loved one the time but tell them it, at the simple press of a button. This can be beneficial to those who are increasingly finding it difficult to read a clock face or are struggling with their vision – both unfortunately common symptoms of more advanced dementia. There are many different designs available, some with a vintage feel, and others with a modern look, meaning you will be spoilt for choice, and sure to find one that they will love.

Take a look at this traditional design from the Royal National Institute of the Blind (RNIB):


2. Simple MP3 music player

Music can have an amazing impact on people living with dementia. Research suggests that listening to your favourite tunes can provide emotional and behavioural benefits for people with the condition – and can often be a powerful form of therapy. Musical memories are often preserved in those living with Alzheimer’s, the most common form of dementia. This is because key brain areas linked to musical memory are often relatively undamaged by the disease. A simple MP3 music player filled with some of your loved one’s favourite songs is guaranteed to get the feet tapping and hands clapping this Christmas.

We love the simplicity and functionality of this design from the Alzheimer’s Society shop.


3. Precious Petzz

Studies have shown that pets may help improve the health of those living with dementia, by providing them with a constant source of companionship. Owning a furry friend can even be an essential part of their daily routine. Pets can help to stabilise your blood pressure, reduce stress and feelings of loneliness. Precious Petzz are cuddly petting toys that look, feel, and act like real animals, with bellies that breathe and fur that is soft to touch. They offer the benefits of a pet, without the risks or responsibilities. If your loved one is an animal lover, this is definitely the gift for them.

It doesn’t matter whether they’re a cat or dog person, there’s something for them here – all at very reasonable prices.


4. Electronic photo frame

Looking through the photo albums is not just a great thing to do together (especially this time of year), reminiscing is another powerful dementia therapy. However, if your loved one has lowered dexterity, flipping pages can be a struggle. An electronic photo frame can be a brilliant replacement for the traditional photo album. You can even scan images from old photo books and load it up with their favourites beforehand so they don’t need to do this themselves.

These models from Jessops are high-quality frames at an extremely attractive price.


5. Clear digital alarm clock

For people with dementia, commons problems include disorientation and forgetfulness. This is why giving them a digital alarm clock, with the date and time on it is a great way for them to ground themselves. It gives them a clock to look at without the hassle and challenges that come with trying to read a small face. Reading large numbers will be easier.

We love the clarity of this one from John Lewis.


6. Wheelchair accessories

It’s not uncommon in the later stages of dementia for mobility to become impaired. If your loved one is in a wheelchair, a wheelchair pouch could be a great gift idea. It will allow them to keep all their things in one place, whether it’s their dentures, glasses or handkerchief, they’re always at hand, in a consistent place.

We love this example for its simple straps and secure pockets.

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