Jan 15, 2024

Our top Christmas gift ideas for someone with dementia

We’re sharing our top Christmas gift ideas for someone with dementia, with the help of the Oomph! Wellbeing and Activities Platform 

As we approach the holiday season, a lot of people will be thinking about what gifts they want to get for their loved ones. Giving someone a personal, thoughtful gift is important to show someone how much you care for them, and this is especially important for those living in care homes, and all the more for those in care homes living with dementia. So, taking inspiration from the Oomph! Wellbeing and Activities platform, we’ve come up with some our top picks for Christmas ideas for someone with dementia. 

And don’t forget, if you’re loved one is living in a care home that uses the Oomph! Wellbeing and Activities Platform, why not get in touch with care staff to find out what activities they enjoy the most to help you decide what gifts would really be a hit this Christmas? 

Read here if you're interested in more winter activities for older adults.

Christmas gift ideas for someone with dementia – things to consider 

  • Think about items that are appropriate to the stage of dementia your loved one is at. For example, it probably wouldn’t be a good idea to get a huge jigsaw puzzle for someone with late or even moderate-stage dementia. 

  • Items that relate to hobbies, past experiences or other insights into their personal history, such as their career or accomplishments, is a great example of a personal, heartfelt gift that can help someone with dementia retain a sense of themselves and their place in the world 

  • Promoting a sense of engagement and purpose is also a good idea. Rather than getting something that will just end up in the back of their wardrobe, consider something that can provide real benefits to their quality of life and level of happiness. 

  • Rather than getting lots of gifts, it might be better to focus on getting one or two truly meaningful gifts you know they will enjoy and will mean something to them 

Something challenging 

The benefits of puzzles for people with dementia are well documented because it allows them to engage in an activity that strikes the right balance between offering a challenge and a sense of achievement upon completion but also something that is not so difficult that it could lead to a loss of confidence. It helps to keep the mind sharp and also promotes a sense of community and engagement if done as a group. Christmas gift ideas for someone with dementia that offer an achievable challenge include: 

  • Jigsaws 

  • Wordsearches 

  • Puzzles  

  • Crosswords 

  • Quiz collections 

The Oomph! Wellbeing and Activities Platform has hundreds of puzzles, crosswords and quizzes to choose from on a range of topics that can be specifically tailored to the interests of residents or the time of year, such as Christmas or Halloween.  

Something creative and engaging 

A gift that is geared towards something creative is an ideal Christmas gift for someone with dementia because it might give them the chance to alleviate one of the biggest challenges that comes with dementia, namely, the diminishing ability to communicate. Not being able to express themselves in the way they once could, someone with dementia could experience feelings of isolation and withdrawal from the community. A creative gift, however, gives them the chance to engage in something that can also be challenging, can be rewarding and also allow them to express that which they might not be able to vocalise as well as they once could. A creative gift also gives someone with dementia the chance to engage in sensory stimulation, which only becomes more crucial as the condition develops. Creative gift ideas include: 

  • Cooking experiences 

  • Painting or drawing books 

  • An arts and crafts activity 

  • Modelling clay 

With the hundreds of activities available on the Oomph! Wellbeing and Activities Platform, care home residents with dementia will have every opportunity to engage in activities such as cooking classes, as well as painting and drawing activities that are all expert-created and tailored not only do older adults but can be specifically selected to benefit those with dementia.  

Something to evoke memories 

It can be common for people in the earlier stages of dementia to experience short term memory loss, for example not being able to recall names or recent events, but still maintain a strong recollection of significant events in their lives that could have happened decades ago – especially memories that evoke strong emotions such as weddings, childhood experiences or family traditions. Giving a gift that evokes strong memories will help the person with dementia maintain a strong grasp on their self-identity and their life story, it could foster feelings of happiness and fond reminiscence and can bring families closer together. Gifts that evoke memories include: 

  • Memory box or memory book 

  • A scrapbook 

  • Creating a family photo album 

With the Oomph! Wellbeing and Activities Platform, care home residents can get involved in community activities such as festive wreath making, Easter card crafting, creating a seaside memory box or many others to help bring back happy memories and engage in meaningful and constructive activities. 

The Oomph! Wellbeing and Activities platform provides an essential component to true quality of life for care home residents because it enables them to take part in meaningful, enjoyable and engaging activities that add variety and excitement to their days, as well as fostering positive emotions and a greater community spirit. To find out more, just click here 

January 15, 2024

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