It’s easy to fall back on food and clothes when buying presents for those living with dementia; after all we know that they will always enjoy a new pair of slippers or a bar of chocolate. But there are some great gifts out there this year that could actually make a real difference to their quality of life. Here are our picks for 2020.  

Fidget blanket 

These are wonderful for those whose hands just can’t seem to relax and are always twiddling or pulling at threads, a common symptom for those with dementia. All the various elements of this blanket are securely stitched so there is no chance of pieces becoming loose, and there are lots of different sensory experiences here from clips and buttons to ribbons and zips. At the time of writing there were plenty left, but if they sell out a quick search on Etsy will reveal many more for sale. 

Adult dining bib

It’s a fact that mealtime can be quite a messy affair for some people, once motor control is not what it was. These lovely adult bibs look more like scarves, which maintains the dignity of the wearer. They are easily laundered and come in lots of lovely colours. 

Rosebud reminder clock

This is a great addition to a loved one’s bedroom or living space. Clearly displaying the day, date and time, it also offers a host of other features to prompt people to do daily tasks, aimed at relieving the stress and anxiety that can build up when unknown events occur. 

Reusable water painting– Aquapaint 

This is a lovely activity for someone with a creative mind. The paintings work in a similar way to the ‘magic painting’ activities that toddlers enjoy. No messy paints needed; just brushing water over the pages reveals the colours. The pages then fade gradually allowing reuse for up to a year of daily painting. 

Large font card games

Simple games of snap, with different categories, specially designed for elderly people living with dementia and Alzheimer’s. 

Big button remote control 

A godsend in these screen-bound times; the Big Button Flipper makes changing channels, finding your favourites and controlling the volume easy. You can programme it to a set number of channels, and its special lock feature prevents accidental reprogramming. 

Talking photo album

A lovely one when you may not be able to celebrate face to face. Print out favourite photos, stick them in and record a message to go with each photo. You can record up to 120 m