Charity compiles dementia Christmas gift list after flood of calls to helpline

Dementia and music

Dementia UK has compiled a list of top Christmas gifts for dementia sufferers.

The organisation said it had come up with the list following frequent calls to its helpline from family members unsure what to buy for people with the condition.

The list includes items related to music, interactivity, aromatherapy and identity.

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Twiddlemuffs begin the list, not unlike a stress ball that people can hold and play with to relieve stress.

Next are ‘reminiscents’ boxes. Smell is the sense that is most strongly linked to memory, so the boxes incorporate smells that may trigger happy memories for the person.

Music can also trigger happy memories, so buying a person the CD of a favourite artist can help.

Finally, ID jewellery can be customised to include helpful details for patients or staff.

Paulette Winchester-Joseph, deputy lead for the 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.

“As a diagnosis of dementia is as individual as the person who receives it, the above gifts should be seen as suggestions. You may well have to make other considerations before buying gifts for a relative or close friend with the condition, particularly as you know the person best.

“These can include likes and dislikes of the person diagnosed as well as what stage of the condition they’re at and what might allow them to be supported in their day-to-day life.”

The service is available 9am-9pm on weekdays and 9am-5pm on weekends.

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Sam Lewis

The author Sam Lewis

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