How to (and how NOT TO) shop for dementia-friendly products!


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I really want to talk about some of my favorite products to use in the dementia care space. Now, here is the trick to shopping for people, living with dementia for your residents, living with dementia for a client, living with dementia, for a family member, living with dementia, whoever there is a really fine line I want you to keep in mind between what is childish and what is dementia friendly and age-appropriate. So I want to go through and give you some of my examples. I actually have a couple of lists. Save on Amazon. Amazon really is a good spot to shop for, you know, pretty much anything. If you’re not somebody who enjoys Amazon, there are other places to get these things. Amazon just makes it a little bit easier. We have to face the music.

It is easier on Amazon. So let’s look at some options here. This is my Melissa and Doug Underwater ocean floor puzzle. Now, I love the size of these pieces. They’re really big pieces, okay? You can see this little girl here. She’s, or, or you know, this boy here, right? You see these pieces are pretty big. That’s great. Now, the key for me is that there are only 48 pieces, which is awesome. The other thing is that this is not a childish-looking puzzle. It’s artistic and it’s fine. However, there are definitely options that are too childish. For example, unicorns, right? People think, oh, floor puzzle. Great. It’s the right amount of pieces. Okay, great. It’s got the same amount of pieces about, but it’s a unicorn. So let’s not go for that. Okay? Let’s pop back over to my Amazon cart. I love the lacing and tracing kits. This is for somebody in a later stage of dementia, but I’ve watched these work really well. Now, again, these are just different shapes, so they can pass. Okay, it’s fine. It’s not my favorite thing, but I’ve not seen anything better than this in terms of shapes and colors. Now, here’s what we don’t want, right? We don’t want childish-looking animals, okay?

I love these. The Melissa and Doug, again, pattern blocks and boards for people living with dementia. These are excellent. As an activity, I’ve worked with people with, you know, moderate stage of dementia, who really like matching up the pieces. Now, I’m going to get into relish here. Relish is a website where they make products for people living with dementia in all different stages. So you can go to Relish website and get these things, or you can get them on Amazon. This is a golf-target game. Really cool. A lot of fun, and easy to use. This is a great option. So, again, the thing I like about Relish is they really tell you about each thing, and they tell you exactly what the game is or whatever it is, and what stage of dementia it should be used for. So that’s really handy. That’s really, really helpful. So, pretty much anything by relish, I say, go

Ahead and, and grab. I, I would do it. I pretty, I I trust them very much. Here’s the one thing I really, really, really, really say. Everybody from, you know, everybody in senior living, everybody who works with people living with dementia in any capacity needs. This is also great if you have a loved one at home. These are the Aqua Paints. These are amazing. These are so much fun. Even if you don’t have dementia, these are so much fun. So all you do is you’re painting with water, and these beautiful scenes show up. You can use them over and over again. They’re really cool. They look like this. And then you use water and a paintbrush, or your finger or whatever. Paintbrush makes it a little more adult, and the whole painting comes out. They have all different types of aqua paints, different themes.

Love these. The last thing I’ll point out is that relish does have puzzles. So if you can’t find a Melissa and Doug puzzle, like the underwater one, that’s appropriate, or you need a smaller one, they have different sizes. This is a 13-piece jigsaw puzzle, and again, you can tell it’s, it’s an artistic rendering. It’s not childish. So this is the key. If you’re shopping for people living with dementia, really, please, please, please remember, these are adults. These are not children. We really want to find things that are age-appropriate for them. Thanks for tuning in. Hope you learned something.

Visit my Youtube channel for more tips on Dementia Care.

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Rachael Wonderlin is an internationally-recognized dementia care expert and consultant. She has a Master’s in Gerontology and is the author of three published books with Johns Hopkins University Press. Rachael owns Dementia By Day, a dementia care consulting and education company.

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