Members of Norwich’s Dementia Voice group tell us what they thought of a range of gifts designed with dementia in mind.
The Dementia Voice group in Norwich meets every month to have their say about our and others’ work.
They welcomed us to a session to try out gift ideas from our online shop, including games and activities to enjoy alone or together.
All About Us
The All About Us game, from Relish, prompts conversation with questions about each decade of your life. Which decade and topic depends on where you land as you travel around the board.
People enjoyed sharing stories while playing, but suggested improvements too.
While they liked the dice’s size and feel, Tina said, ‘Its colour matches one of the categories. Maybe make it black and white instead?’
Many agreed with Ray that the tense of the questions could be confusing – using present tense despite asking about the past or future.
Ian thought the picture on box made it look more complicated than it is.
‘It’s off-putting,’ he said. ‘It needs something to say, “Engage with me!”’
The game itself was fun, getting everyone talking. Questions about their 20s made Carole say, ‘Oh the secrets are coming out now…!’
Relish’s Animal Snap includes 48 cards that you can use to play three games – snap, pair or full house. Each card has a picture of an animal that can be matched with identical or similar cards.
Dan and Ian tried a game, with some help from Jan and Tina.
‘The cards have very clear pictures,’ said Jan, though she added, ‘Toddlers’ snap cards would also work fine.’
Ian said he was confused by the image sometimes being upside down, depending on how it was put down.
Although Dan occasionally couldn’t recall what you were supposed to say when you saw a pair, the group took this in its stride.
Margaret said it reminded her of a mahjong game she plays on her computer.
Relish jigsaws come in 13, 35, 63 or 100 pieces, with evocative and engaging pictures. The box may be used to complete the puzzle, with final image and conversation prompts on the inside lid.
People liked the range of pictures, including countryside, city and wildlife scenes.
Trying the 35-piece ‘Bathing Birds’ design, Ray liked the size of the pieces, though Carole thought they could be thicker.
‘I can struggle to pick them up,’ she said.
Ray noted that some people could find it awkward to complete the puzzle within the box, though they wouldn’t have to use it for this.
Rex said he’d only do a jigsaw once, whereas the other games you could play over again. If so, the group agreed you could find someone else who’d like the puzzle.
Emporia’s Simple tablet computer is designed to make reading news, watching videos and keeping in touch easy and enjoyable, with straightforward menus and controls. It comes with a range of apps, earphones and a charging cradle.
Ray picked up the tablet, navigated the menus and found an online jigsaw easily, playing it straightaway. He and Carole were both impressed by it. She noted he currently has a Samsung tablet because he found an iPad too complicated.
Ray was pleased you could use a stylus with the Simple tablet, since he finds this less fiddly than using his finger on the touch screen.
Tina liked that it came with so many apps. Ian was glad you can still add others, since he’d want Google Calendar so he and Tina can see each other’s appointments.
If you choose to install a SIM card into the Simple tablet, you can also use it to make voice and video calls. If you find yourself without wifi, you can still access the internet using your data allowance on the SIM.
The Tactile Turn is a soft fabric ring that folds in on itself endlessly, providing a sense of comfort and calm. Its textures and colours stimulate the senses, while the repetitive motion brings focus and relaxation.
Cheryl knew someone who’d benefit from it, since they had shingles and this would help to avoid them picking at their skin.
Rolling it up her arm so it looked like a float, Carole joked, ‘Shall we go swimming?’
Margaret could barely put it down, saying, ‘It’s brilliant – I want one of them!’
‘It feels like you’re occupied,’ she said, ‘and it’s relaxing.’
Helpful everyday products
Browse our shop for this and many other products that help living with dementia.
Prices (correct as of December 2023)
- All About Us game – £24.99 plus VAT
- Animal Snap – £9.99 plus VAT
- Relish 13, 35, 63 or 100-piece jigsaw puzzles – each £14.16 plus VAT
- Simple tablet – £250.00 plus VAT
- Tactile Turn – £20.82 plus VAT
People living with dementia and anyone purchasing on their behalf can buy many of our helpful products VAT free – saving 20%.
Simply tick the box stating that you’re eligible for VAT relief at checkout when buying from our online shop.