Now more than ever we need to think of the impact on the planet of our choices in life and that also includes our gift-giving. So wherever possible it’s time to think of sustainable dementia gift ideas that help us reduce our carbon footprint and protect our planet. Here are a few ideas for gifts for you to try!
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1. Growable Seed Calendar
I loved the idea of these growable seed calendars. They’re not overly complicated for someone with dementia, the calendar itself is a useful reminder tool, and makes growing plants easy and fun. Why not try one as a sustainable gift. You don’t have to go outside to garden, you can also grow some of these on a windowsill.
There are different versions of these sustainable seed calendars, you have ones where packets of seeds are attached to the back of the calendar or on a separate page that is ripped off each month or even embedded directly into the paper. All provide useable calendars, my favourite is the Primoza Calendar (they also do greeting cards!)
Whilst we’re on gardening as a sustainable gift you might also consider SEEDBALL – a simpler way to grow from seed. Seedballs are a simple way to grow beautiful wildflowers. The seed balls create “a mini-ecosystem, protecting your seeds from birds, ants and slugs and giving them nutrition as they germinate and grow”. You and your loved one with dementia can pot these seedballs and enjoy them in the summer.
2. Echo Show & Subscriptions
Ok, now this one might surprise you, sustainable? – I know, but they are and also what you can do with it makes it more sustainable. I have the Amazon Echo 5 which is “made from a climate-friendly sustainable build using largely recycled materials and it also uses less power” (Source:Amazon.com).
You can use an Amazon Echo Show to play music, read audible books and display family photos by creating a slide show. That’s on top of the other voice-controlled tasks it can do!
For someone with mid to late-stage dementia, it may be too complicated to use but those at the earlier stages may find this smart tech useful in helping access various opportunities and use it on difficult days to help reduce anxiety and stress.
I would suggest getting the Amazon Echo 8 (2nd Generation) for better picture and sound quality and then as a gift to buy an audible book subscription. Alexa can then be used to read your favourite books.
Again if this is too complicated then, you can set up a photo album in Prime Photos, or use your Facebook photos to display family photos in slideshow mode!
3. Dementia Fidget Blanket
Making your own Dementia Fidget Blanket /quilt would make such a lovely personal gift to your loved one with dementia. It’s completely sustainable as you recycle/use materials in your own home, helping reduce anxiety and stress for them. You can find out how to make one by checking out my post – How to repurpose a cushion and make a Dementia Fidget Blanket
4. Aqua Paints – Reuseable canvas
Aqua Paints are aimed at the later stages of dementia and are fantastic at promoting independence, conversation and memories. Each pack is supplied with an outline of a piece of art. Your loved one then with a brush and water paints over the canvas to reveal the image. Then when they dry the picture disappears so the canvas can be sustainably reused over and over again, You can get them here Relish
5. Printer Tray / Memory Box
Objects can have so many memories, so one idea is to go around your home and pick items that you know will bring back happy memories – that pearl necklace, that photo, that pebble from a beach, her favourite perfume and put them all into a memory box that you can gift to your loved one. All of it is sustainable & recycling objects from home.
One of the best examples I’ve seen was created by Julia Powell, who shared her story of caring for her mum with dementia on her blog. Here, she created a printer tray for an anniversary but she said in her blog that “although I made the gift before mum’s dementia diagnosis, it became a useful tool to prompt memories and happy conversations”. She wrote a great blog post on how she created the printer tray and you should also check out her other amazing stories from her time caring for her mum. The same idea can be applied to making a memory box.
6. Jigsaw Puzzles
If Jigsaw puzzles are something your loved one with dementia enjoys but find difficult to complete as their dementia progress. Then this site has you covered.
All the jigsaws puzzles and boxes are sustainably made from cardboard and the best thing is the box is used to contain and make the puzzle whilst the inside of the box holds a picture of the completed puzzle they can refer to. Isn’t that great? Love these, click here or the pic below to go to the site!
7. Pampering Gift Sets
Everyone loves to be pampered, so why not buy a sustainable option for your loved one. There are so many options available to you. I love Neal’s Yard products and I wanted something to help with sleep patterns so I’d suggest the ‘Relax, Prepare for Sleep’ set.
If audiobooks are not your cup of tea, and reading is still a fave pastime, then the Hand Me Down Book Club might be a sustainable possibility.
Hand Me Down Book Club has been established to prevent books being sent to landfill whilst they still have great stories to tell.Hmdbookclub.co.uk
9. The Gift of you
The biggest gift you can give anyone with dementia is your time. The one thing that anyone wants is someone to talk with, to be there and help them make sense of the diagnosis. So that’s you – step up and make time to spend with your loved one. Create a mason jar with promise notes of your commitment, tie a ribbon around and present that to your loved one!
Throughout my search for sustainable gifts, I’ve found things that I also loved but didn’t include in above, so I’ve decided to add them here in case they take your fancy
- Recycled Newspaper Pencil Set Set of Pencils Pencils in | Etsy – add recycled paper and your off to a winning set for a budding artist.
- Sprout Pencils Graphite Plantable Pencils with Flower, Herb & Vegetable Seeds – plant your pencil after using and watch them grow!
- Smart Diffuser Lamp – a two in one, diffuser and lamp, great to add aromatherapy oils that help create ambience and stress free zones.
Last but not least never, ever forget to add chocolates to any gift!
Hope you find something useful in this list as a sustainable dementia gift for your loved one. Enjoy!