Gift Ideas For People With Dementia


What sort of gift do you buy to ensure a happy and inclusive Christmas for someone with dementia?

Charity Dementia UK’s Admiral Nurse Dementia Helpline regularly takes calls from families who find this part of the festive period challenging.

Thankfully, they have some useful suggestions for us.


These are usually made from wool and are attached with items, such as bobbles, people can play with.

If a person with dementia becomes agitated, twiddlemuffs can be a great way to ease stress and give the person something to focus on.

They are easy to make, and you can also knit things inside the fabric for added interactivity.

Reminescents box

Reminiscence is all about evoking memory and emotion — scents and aromas can help make this happen.

These boxes can be homemade and filled with scents which are really individual for the person with dementia.

Lavender if they like gardening, for example, or cocoa if they like cooking and chocolate for example.

You can fill it or change it as time goes on to make it more interesting.

Either way, they can be a great way to start conversations and help individuals connect with one another.

Young people can get involved, too, and help to guess the scents with their relative.

Music to the ears

Everyone enjoys different types of music, and this does not change when someone develops dementia.

Some music can evoke positive memories, so one idea is to gift someone a song — an album of an artist or a soundtrack they have enjoyed previously.

You can also look out for simple instruments like a shaker, bells or a tambourine to create some of your own music.

ID jewellery

This type of jewellery is personalised, helping a person with dementia maintain their identity and sense of wellbeing.

There are many types of this jewellery available on the market, with a number of styles to suit various tastes. 

It can include a person’s name and details of their condition for medical professionals. It can also feature contact details for a family member or close friend in case of an emergency.

“As a diagnosis of dementia is as individual as the person who receives it, the above gifts should be seen as suggestions,” Paulette Winchester-Joseph, Deputy Lead for the Admiral Nurse Dementia Helpline, said.

“The Christmas period may be quite an isolating time for people with dementia, so any gifts which show love and support for the person will go a long way.”

For any additional advice around Christmas time, you can contact the Admiral Nurse Dementia Helpline on 0800 888 6678 or e-mail

The Helpline is open 9am-9pm weekdays and 9am-5pm on weekends.

It is closed on bank holidays — including Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.

For more health advice from “The People’s Friend”, click here.

Yvonne McKenzie

Yvonne works on the Features team and admits to being nosy, so loves looking after the Between Friends letters and finding out all about our lovely readers. She also looks after our health copy and enjoys writing about inspiring people that help make the articles in the magazine so interesting.