Living with dementia can be a confusing and overwhelming experience for everyone involved. Recent statistics from Dementia Australia show that over 480,000 people have dementia in Australia. For carers of people living with dementia, it can be a stressful affair to see their loved ones being upset or disorientated.

It’s common for people with dementia to be forgetful, irritable, and even aggressive. Fortunately, there are some great items that can bring comfort to a loved one with dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease.

If you’re a carer, this article will review some well-known comfort items and how they may help your loved one feel better in their daily life.

‘Fidget’ items

Fidgeting is a common symptom among people with dementia, and you may notice your loved one fidgeting a lot during the day. This is because having dementia causes restlessness, and they usually show anxiety or agitation through their hands. Hence, you’d often see them restlessly pulling at clothes or blankets, wringing their hands, or rubbing them together.

These repeated movements are expected, and you can try soothing them by using a fidget blanket. These blankets are a great way to keep your loved one calm and still, as it usually has a quilt with several different objects attached to them.

Essentially, the attachments help stimulate people with dementia and keep them focused on one particular activity, thereby reducing any emotional escalation that can lead to agitation. As a bonus, it can also relieve their boredom.

Reminder day clock

As dementia progresses, it could become more challenging for loved ones to perform daily tasks like getting dressed or remembering what day it is. Fortunately, reminder day clocks can help bring some form of order into their day.

Reminder clocks have a large, easy-to-read screen that lists the day, time, month, and year, and they can be dimmed at night. Some clocks also show the schedule for the day or provide an appointment reminder, which helps patients remember routines and maintain some independence.

Stuffed Animals

Stuffed animals and robotic pets are known to provide many benefits to people living with dementia, and it’s another comfort item that should be considered. These fluffy toy animals can keep them calm by reducing the anxiety, depression, and loneliness that are felt daily.

More importantly, stuffed animals cultivate a sense of care and purpose. It’s also a safe item to use, as it’s not at risk of harming the patient and will not provoke any pet allergies.

Weighted Blanket

Weighted blankets have long been used to provide relief for people with anxiety, insomnia and autism. It’s a popular item because it gives patients a safe and natural treatment that can complement other traditional medications.

People with Alzheimer’s and dementia often have disturbed sleep due to their feelings of agitation and anxiety, which could be relieved by a weighted blanket or a lap pad. Research shows that it helps promote deep sleep, reduces anxiety, and can be a source of great comfort for those who have dementia. Hence, carers can use this comfort item as a simple, non-drug option for a loved one day and night.

Photos and memorabilia

Sometimes, the best comfort item is simply a visual reminder of their lives with those who care for them. As they begin to lose their memory, the best gifts are the ones that help them remember their lives.

Albums and digital frames go a long way in providing comfort for loved ones. For example, you could create an album with a photo of family members or friends who are important in their lives and add key dates or characteristics that are easily remembered. There are no rules in memorabilia, so you can be as creative as you want!

Providing comfort and navigating care for people with dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease can be complicated and overwhelming. Luckily, you do not have to do it alone. CareAbout can provide the support you need to give your loved one the best possible care.

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