High Ridge

20 Helpful Gifts for People with Dementia

Choosing gifts for loved ones living with dementia requires a thoughtful approach. Consider their individual abilities, interests and personalities when selecting a gift, and evaluate which may be suitable for the current and future stages of dementia they may face.

Early-Stage Dementia

During the early stages, older adults need gifts that help to stimulate cognitive function and social interaction. Many can still enjoy the gifts they may have once loved, as well.

Middle-Stage Dementia

In the middle stages, gifts should be simple and provide sensory stimulation. Seniors may also still be able to enjoy the same gifts that those in the early stages do, depending on their current abilities.

Late-Stage Dementia

Gifts that provide comfort and well-being are important in late-stage dementia. These can reduce agitation, anxiety and other negative effects caused by Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia.

Gifts for Dementia Patients

Each of the below gifts is separated by category to make your search and assessment easier. Feel free to try one of our suggestions or be inspired to find your own! Keep in mind that many gifts can be adapted for use through multiple stages of dementia. What matters most is matching your loved one’s needs and preferences.

Cognitive Stimulation

Some gifts can serve to improve cognitive abilities while enhancing the mind. As a loved one advances through the stages of dementia, their cognitive function will lessen, so these gifts can be a great way to engage their brain and challenge them.

Jigsaw Puzzles

Puzzles can help to improve cognitive function, memory, and problem-solving skills. Choose puzzles that are appropriate for your loved one’s skill level, or get one personalized with a favorite photo!

Memory Games and Word Searches

Memory games and word searches can also help to stimulate cognitive function and memory. Be sure to assess difficulty levels and choose games that are appropriate for your loved one’s skill level so the older adult you’re gifting can enjoy your present.

Easy-To-Read Books

Easy-to-read books can provide a sense of enjoyment and relaxation. Consider purchasing your loved one some new large-print books by their favorite author, or buy some of their past favorites.

Musical Instruments or Music Players

Listening to music can be a calming and enjoyable experience for people with dementia. Musical instruments can also provide a creative outlet. Musical instruments that are easy to play, such as a tambourine or maracas, are a great choice.

Art Supplies and Adult Coloring Books

Art can help to reduce stress and anxiety. If arts and crafts are hobbies your loved one would enjoy, this is a great gift idea. Make sure to choose art supplies that are easy to use, such as crayons, markers, and finger paints.

Adult coloring books can provide a creative outlet and help to reduce stress and anxiety. The optimal coloring book is one with simple designs and large spaces.

Sensory Stimulation

Sensory activities can engage various cognitive functions, including attention, memory, and problem-solving. They help keep the brain active and may slow down cognitive decline. It also can evoke positive emotions, reduce anxiety, and promote a sense of well-being in individuals with dementia.

Weighted Blankets

Weighted blankets can provide a sense of calm and security. Purchase a weighted blanket that is an appropriate weight for your loved one.

Aromatherapy Diffusers

Aromatherapy diffusers can help to improve mood and reduce stress. Pick out essential oils that are safe for people with dementia, such as lavender and chamomile.

Fidget Toys

Fidget toys can help to reduce restlessness and anxiety. Choose fidget toys that are easy to use, durable and provide ongoing fun.

Light Therapy Lamps

Light therapy lamps can help to improve mood and reduce sleep problems. Pick one your loved one would enjoy, but ensure the brightness is appropriate for them.

Activities of Daily Living (ADL) Aids

For older adults with memory loss, fostering independence is important. These gifts can help.

Adaptive Clothing

Adaptive clothing is specialized clothing designed to enhance independence in people with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia. Choose adaptive clothing that is easy to put on and take off to ensure maximum independence.

Specialty Dining Utensils

Utensils designed for people with dementia can help them to eat more independently. If this is a gift your loved one can use, be sure to buy utensils that are easy to grip and use.

Bath and Shower Aids

Bath and shower aids can help people with dementia to bathe and shower more safely. In fact, you’d be surprised just how easy they can be to install and use. Consider your loved one’s needs and purchase the items that would be most helpful to them.

Medical Alert Systems

Medical alert systems provide peace of mind for people with dementia and their caregivers. Choose a medical alert system that is easy to use and provides the features that you need.

Comfort and Well-Being

These cozy gifts are sure to be great gifts for seniors with dementia.

Slippers or Shoes

Slippers or shoes that are easy to put on and take off help people with dementia maintain their independence. Find a cozy option that fits their style.


Massagers help to reduce muscle tension and pain and can also promote relaxation. Choose a massager that is easy to use and hold, and consider one that has removable heads for use on various muscles.

Comfort Blankets

Blankets can provide a sense of comfort and security. Pick a blanket that is soft, large and cuddly.

Stuffed Animals

Stuffed animals bring a sense of comfort and companionship while reducing anxiety and agitation in those with Alzheimer’s disease. Pick their favorite animal or grab one that looks like their favorite pet.

Gifts That Promote Connection

When family members spend time with loved ones with dementia, it can bring them a sense of connection, lessening their stress and anxiety. If you’re looking for a great gift idea, these ideas might just be the best of all.

Digital Photo Frames

Digital photo frames can display a slideshow of photographs, which can help to evoke memories and promote conversation. Choose a digital photo frame that is easy to use and has a large display.

Memory Boxes

Memory boxes can be filled with items that have special meaning to your loved one. This can be a great way to help them to connect with their past and their loved ones. Choose a memory box that is sturdy and spacious.

Family Photo Books

Family photo books can be a great way to share memories with your loved one. Make sure to include photographs from different stages of your loved one’s life.

Waterstone on High Ridge Is Here for You

With the prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia continuing to grow, we know most people are touched by this disease in some way, and perhaps have a loved one or dear friend with this diagnosis.

At Waterstone on High Ridge, we believe in supporting families and friends who are coping with the challenges of memory loss. Contact us today to learn more about how our Bridges® Memory Care Program improves the quality of life of those with dementia. Ask about our ongoing educational events and support groups designed to help family caregivers.