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  • Karen McPhail, RN,MSN, CDP

Holiday Gifts for Those With Cognitive Impairments

The other day I met with the daughter of one of my clients. She cares for her mother at home with dementia and does an amazing job doing so! During our visit, her daughter suddenly started to cry as we spoke about the holidays. She explained that she had always loved getting gifts for her mother, but now what could she possibly buy for someone with dementia? My response...

Lots of fun things that will bring her moments of joy!!!

So, this week I decided to put down some of my favorite ideas for holiday gift giving for those with dementia:

1. Active Minds guided puzzles for those with dementia. Lot's of terrific puzzles that are structured for those with cognitive impairments! Some even have wonderful nostalgic themes!

2. Keeping busy games such as match the shapes, match the dots, the TRIO game, and match the pins activity games. These games are structured for those with cognitive impairments and can be terrific fun per the instructions or in a variety of non-structured ways!

3. Large print coloring books (color your mind is excellent), word search books, nostalgic crosswords, simple brain puzzle books. I also like Connecting Memories as developed for those with dementia! NASCO simple crafts book for those with cognitive impairments is also a great guide book!

4. Senior simple chair exercise tapes and nostalgic CD's of music and television shows such as Dean Martin, I Love Lucy, etc.

5. Music BINGO for seniors, large lacing and stringing beads, and magnetic puzzles such as the baking cupboard.

6. Fidget cubes and activity, comfort aids such as Q3 enterprises twiddle sport comfort aid, alzheimer's, dementia activity hand muff puppy or lion, or an activity apron, such as the flaghouse activity apron. These help with fidgeting and are great for those who like to keep their hands busy.

7. Mem pic books and brain rehab activities. Mem pic books are a great way to tap into preserved memory and engage at an individuals level!


These items can all be purchased on a variety of websites, at some retail stores, and also for one stop shopping... ALL are available via Amazon.

Happy Holidays!!!!


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