Best Gifts For Dementia Patients in 2019 – Guide & Reviews

Last Updated: 16.07.19

 

Top 5 Gifts For Dementia Patients — An In-Depth Analysis

 

We did some research and came up with some of the best gifts for dementia patients. If you are looking for a gift for a dementia patient, look no further and just read the following lines. After analyzing many reviews we came to the conclusion that the Joy for All Companion Pets Golden Pup is one of the most suitable gifts you could make to a loved one that suffers from dementia. This product mimics the movements and sounds of a real puppy and reacts accordingly when you interact with it. It can move its head, ears, tail, it can look at you and as you pet it, you will feel its heartbeat. When you speak to it, it turns its head and barks back. This product doesn’t need feeding and is designed to bring back moments of joy to the elderly owner. If you don’t find this product, we also recommend the TwiddlePup Therapy Aid.

 

 

Comparison table

 

The Good
The Bad
Verdict
Price

 

 

Products in Demand – In-Depth Reviews

 

 

If you are looking for some sensory gifts for dementia patients to keep their minds active and to improve their social skills you could try any of the following products as they received positive reviews from customers who bought them. These 5 items are the perfect gift suggestions for dementia patients.

 

 

Joy for All Companion Pets Golden Pup

 

This product mimics the movements and behavior of a real dog with great accuracy. It can wag its tail, move its head, close and open its eyes and mouth and much more. As sensorial therapy has been proven to bring results in treating patients with dementia, this toy pup features a heartbeat that can be felt by touching its chest. The exterior is covered with soft synthetic fur.

The product features a so-called Barkback technology which means that the dog barks back at whoever is talking to it and moreover, turns its head toward that person. This greatly enhances the interaction experience. Multiple sensors built in specific areas under the dog’s coat make it react when you pet it.

The company produces great gifts for caregivers of dementia patients and has won multiple awards such as the Caregiver Friendly Award and has appeared in the New York Times and Baltimore Sun. In addition, the product has appeared on multiple media channels.

 

Pros

The product mimics the looks and behavior of a real dog extremely well, with realistic movements and sounds.

The product feels good to the touch, as its fur is soft and thick. This is good for patients who undergo sensorial therapies.

The interaction experience is completed as the dog gives you feedback according to your actions. If you talk to it or pet it, the dog looks at you, barks back and moves.

Aside from replacing the included 4C batteries, the dog doesn’t require any other type of maintenance such as feeding or cleaning. Moreover, it doesn’t produce any waste.

 

Cons

Some clients were dissatisfied by the fact that the dog was much more noisier than expected and they had to turn it off to stop it from barking so often.

Some people pointed out that the dog sheds its synthetic fur quite a lot.

Buy from Amazon.com for ($103)

 

 

 

TwiddlePup Therapy Aid

 

This therapy tool is used to stimulate the tactile senses of children and dementia patients. The various components have multiple shapes and textures and can be handled to reduce anxiety levels and improve certain brain functions. Moreover, the product improves hand-eye coordination, dexterity, and even finger strength.

In addition, fine motor skills can be regained by regularly using this toy. The exterior is covered in soft synthetic fur that can be washed and dried without any problems. Some of the components included in this therapy tool include a string of colored wooden beads, multi-colored ribbons, an orbit ball inside the toy and a crackle pouch made of buckskin.

A Velcro patch exercises finger dexterity and the mind as well. This product is recognized as a Certified Autism Resource by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards and is one of the finest Christmas gifts for dementia patients.

 

Pros

The toy has multiple textures and different-shaped components that are good for fidgeting and handling. It also has a Velcro patch.

This item can be tossed into the washing machine with no problem. Moreover, it is dryer friendly so whenever it gets dirty, you can quickly clean it.

This item gives people suffering from various stages of dementia many activities they can do with their hands in order to alleviate their nervousness.

The toy also works as a hand warmer for people who have poor peripheral blood flow. For quick results, some caretakers warmed it with a blow dryer.

 

Cons

Although you can wash this toy inside a washing machine, you have to remove all its component accessories before doing that.

Some customers claim that the different components are not sown to the main body extremely well and even older people may break them off when handling the toy.  

Buy from Amazon.com for ($50)

 

 

 

Keeping Busy Match The Dots

 

This game is designed for older people who suffer from dementia and its main purpose is to bring back memories from when the patients were younger and used to play dominoes. This is mainly accomplished through the sound of the domino tiles which are hitting the table or each other.

To help the senior people complete this game, the product also features a few colored templates that basically guide the users and help them succeed. According to the manufacturer, this item has been tested on people with various stages of dementia in order to ensure that the game will be fully enjoyed by everyone who plays it.

A complete set of instructions included in the game shows different ways of playing so that people who use this product will feel in the end a sense of accomplishment and success. The domino pieces are of high-quality and they provide a great tactile experience.

 

Pros

The included instructions are clear and easy to follow, both by the caretakers as well as by the senior patients who wish to understand the purpose of the game.

The pieces are of high-quality and offer a good tactile experience that is therapeutical for those patients who always feel the need of handling something.

This game can be played alone or with other people. This way, the patient interacts with other people and his/her social skills are improved.

Customer service is extremely responsive and customers were pleased by how well they offered them answers and additional information regarding the product.

 

Cons

For dementia patients who are in later stages, some of the proposed games may be a little too difficult to understand and may cause frustration.

One customer pointed out that the pictures found on the bag labels should be printed larger as many old people find them difficult to understand, due to poor eyesight.

Buy from Amazon.com for ($22.5)

 

 

 

DH Beacon Therapy Doll

 

The DH Beacon Therapy Doll is designed for people in advanced stages of dementia. It is a simple product, yet extremely effective in calming anxious patients and reducing their stress level.

One of the main features of this product is its eyes that automatically close when the doll is put to sleep. Apparently, the lack of this feature would have major negative consequences on dementia patients. If the eyes of the doll do not move at all, patients get anxious and nervous and may believe that their doll has died.

The doll has been designed with a specific 3 lbs weight. This has a calming effect on whoever is holding it. In addition, the doll is infused with a lavender scent. This promotes relaxation and calms the patient who is holding it. The item can be dressed in different doll clothes. This is an activity that patients can perform each day.

 

Pros

The doll has moving eyes, which makes the interaction between patients and the doll much more realistic and efficient.

The lavender scent emitted from the doll has a therapeutic, calming effect on whoever is handling the toy. Lavender flowers are known for this property.

Its life-like dimensions and weight make it a great therapeutical tool that promotes social interaction and lifts the spirits of dementia patients.

The face and body of this doll are manufactured with great attention to details. The product looks realistic and this makes a big difference when patients interact with it.

 

Cons

Some customers were displeased by the hardness of the doll’s exterior. The plastic out of which the doll is manufactured is hard.

Some clients reported that the doll’s feet come off at times. It is hard for patients to get attached to a doll that is coming apart.

Buy from Amazon.com for ($72)

 

 

 

Active Minds Days Out Aquapaint

 

This set includes 5 large pictures that can be enjoyed even by people with impaired vision. The purpose is to paint them with water and reveal the picture. You don’t have to use colored paint and as a caretaker, you don’t have to worry about the patient making a mess.

The activity is very calming and easy to perform even by patients that suffer from later-stage dementia. All they have to do is to dip the painting brush into the water and stroke it over the white canvas. The different colors will appear from underneath and reveal beautiful pictures.

One of the great advantages of this product is that after the water evaporates, the picture disappears and the canvas can be reused over and over again. Manufacturers claim it will last as long as a full year, even if it’s used daily. The Active Minds Company has won in 2015 the National Dementia Care Award.

 

Pros

Even if the patient’s hands are shivering and he or she is really clumsy, they can’t make a mess of their workspace, because in the worst case scenario they would only spill water.

The pictures are revealed by applying water on them. As the water evaporates, the images disappear. This means that the pictures can be reused multiple times.

The cards that act as canvases are high-quality and durable. This facilitates their reusability.

This product can be given to old people suffering from dementia as well as to young children to improve their motor skills and imagination.

 

Cons

If the patient who is painting moves a little slow, by the time he or she finishes the picture, the water has already evaporated where the patient started and the image fades away.

Some clients received 4 pictures instead of the advertised 5. Quality control could be more effective before sending their ordered products.

Buy from Amazon.com for ($19.99)

 

 

 

Our Yearly Guide

 

When people talk of toys, they generally imagine them in the hands of children. However, the need to be engaging in different activities and play, applies to adults as well, especially to people who suffer from different forms of dementia. The feeling of purpose and accomplishment while performing these simple tasks brings great benefits to the patient and is therapeutical.

Some people wonder if it’s appropriate to give toys as gifts to your loved ones from nursing homes, especially if they suffer from dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Even if they don’t realize the importance and the benefits, you will immediately observe yourself how your loved one’s behavior changes.

Why toys?

Games or toys draw attention. The vibrant colors and intricate shapes combined with the fact that you can interact with them gives the person playing with them a purpose. They concentrate on just one specific thing and become engaged in an activity that improves many aspects of life.

Often times, people who suffer from dementia quickly reject conversation and are reluctant to do anything. Their go-to excuse is that they are tired and avoid engaging in social activities, especially when they are unsure about it. However, almost every time they are being handed a new game, or a toy, they are fascinated.

They start to fidget with them, explore their possibilities and make comments about them. The people become much more talkative and sometimes the toys have to be put away by the caretakers.

 

How to choose toys?

When you think about giving an old loved one gifts for early dementia patients, you have to think the same way as you would do if you were to give a toy to a child. Just as a child has different stages of development, so does a person who suffers from dementia.

According to Jean Piaget, the stages that a dementia patient undergoes are the same as a growing child, except that they go in reverse. As the disease progresses, the patient goes back through Piaget’s stages and in many ways begins to act more and more like a child, even though he remains an adult, and has had all the adult-related experiences.

Therefore, just like you wouldn’t give a toddler a difficult 100-piece puzzle, you also wouldn’t make such a gift to an old person who suffers from an advanced state of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.

Sometimes, simple toys such as dolls or stuffed animals are great Christmas gift ideas for dementia patients and they lower the stress level of older people, give them better sleep and improve their overall behavior.

Aren’t toys demeaning?

It is hard for everybody to watch their loved ones’ state regress like that and there will always be that question if toys are a dignifying or demeaning way to treat these adults. Although many find it awkward, the answer is that toys bring great benefits to the patients. We have to understand that their minds are changing and so are their interests and abilities.

It is the firm belief of researchers that gifts for dementia patients in nursing homes greatly improve their life quality.

 

 

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