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You don’t have to spend a fortune on gifts at Christmas. Here’s how you and your loved one with dementia can be creative and get Christmas sorted together

Making personal, thoughtful gifts can be an absorbing and relaxing activity for someone with dementia, it could also be fun for you – and save lots of money. Here’s a few ideas to inspire and motivate you both

1. Get crafty
Start by making Christmas cards together. You don’t have to go to expensive art stores to get what you need. Most discount stores now sell everything required (even the glue and envelopes) to create lovely DIY cards at very reasonable prices.

2. Visit charity shops
Get out of the house and visit some local charity shops together. If you go during the week when they’re less busy, you can spend lots of time rummaging around for bargains. Scarves, jewellery, and photo frames can all make lovely gifts. You may have to wash or clean them first, but that’s another task you could do together.

3. Turn memories into gifts
People with dementia often have knowledge and wisdom that’s lying dormant. Why not encourage them to turn some of the lessons they’ve learnt, or things they’ve seen, into a very special gift? This could be as simple as asking them to recall how they spent Christmas as a child, a favourite gift they were given, or a special festive event they remember. Record them talking, then transcribe the conversation and create a simple book. This is a gift that family members will treasure.

Tip: Encourage them to decorate the book however they choose, using photos etc to add that extra personal touch…and maybe even signing it themselves!

4. Get in the kitchen
If they used to enjoy cooking, maybe you could try to recreate a festive family favourite, such as peppermint creams or Christmas biscuits? Don’t worry if they can’t remember the whole recipe, you can have fun experimenting…and if the finished product tastes good, make sure to write it down!

Tip: Use festive spices such as nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger. The aroma could spark memory and conversation.

5. Make it personal
The best thing about homemade gifts is that they are heartfelt and fun to create. 52 Reasons I Love You is a perfect example of a gift everyone will love. Simply write out 52 reasons why you love that particular person on paper. Fold each one neatly, then put them all in an old glass jar. Decorate the jar anyway you want, to create a feel-good gift that really will last all year long.

Gifts for people with dementia

Many of the ideas above could also make great gifts for loved ones with dementia, but if you’re short on time, why not take a look at our Christmas gift guide which has a range of carefully designed products to suit all stages of the dementia journey, prices start at £5.95. Go here for more information

Gifts that help you too

Sometimes the best gifts have added benefits. For example, if the person you care for repeatedly asks what day it is, you might find yourself growing increasingly irritated or stressed. A gift which helps to minimize this sort of repetition (such as a day clock) could improve life for you, as well as easing your loved one’s anxiety. Our new Unforgettable Day Clock with Reminders has even more benefits because it comes with 20 pre-loaded reminders covering all the most important daily tasks including appointments, mealtimes, medication and safety. Go here for more information