Best Fidget Blankets for Seniors with Dementia & Alzheimer's

Last Updated: March 9, 2021

If you care for a senior with dementia it might be hard to believe, especially after a bad day, there may be something — an object, music or activity — that will provide a calming response for seniors who are in distress due to dementia.

Sensory stimulation for those who are struggling with dementia or autism can provide a soothing distraction for those who are agitated. It can calm them. Engaging in an activity throughout the day has also been shown to help your senior sleep better.

We have reviewed more than 60 therapeutic fidget quilts and sensory toys to help you make an informed choice based on your situation. We have broken them down into 3 categories

Fidget Blankets (aka Activity Blankets)

Ideal for seniors that are mostly stationary (sitting or laying down)

Fidget Pillows

Use these as replacement for regular pillows on the couch or the bed

Sensory Toys

Cycle through some of these toys to keep them occupied for hours

Fidget Blanket for Dementia and Alzheimer’s Patients

A fidget blanket is a quilt that has several different objects attached to it that stimulate the senior and keeps them focused on an activity and thereby reduce emotional escalation that leads to agitation. It can relieve their boredom too.

 

The blanket can keep a person busy for quite a while “fidgeting” with all the interesting objects in her lap that don’t fall off. It is similar to a toddler’s activity quilt and you could possibly use one of those too but a more age appropriate version would be more acceptable.

While some folks can make these at home, there’s a wide variety of options available on the internet that you can go through.
Key features to look for?

 

 

  • Should have at least 5-6 different activities (ideally in bright colors)
  • Watch out for poorly stitched products as we don’t want parts to be pulled out too easily
  • Ability to compactly fold/pack for storage when not in use

Our recommendations

This is one of my favorites. It’s got a ton of different activities and can be folded up into a small bag when not in use. This makes it pretty useful when traveling as well.

One thing I don’t like about this is the lack of colors on it. I’ve included a few colorful options below as well if that is important for you.

A colorful and compact therapeutic fidget quilt provides over 14 different activity options. The four different types of belts and buckles adds to the uniqueness of this blanket

A colorful and compact therapeutic fidget quilt provides over 14 different activity options. The four different types of belts and buckles adds to the uniqueness of this blanket

Sensory Toys

Sensory toys for people with Dementia, Alzheimers and Autism have really taken off in recent years. There’s a wide variety of options available ranging from toys like stuffed animals to light activities to increase cognitive stimulation.

Our recommendations

Designed and tested with patients at different levels of dementia, these 36 brightly colored tiles draw the users attention. This product is highly rated on Amazon and one of the few age appropriate activities available for this purpose.

You can’t go wrong with the Twiddle brand toys designed specifically for therapy. The twiddle pup series consist of a familiar cat and dog styled animals which are perfect to carry around. They also include small activities that can keep the person engaged (crackle pouch, stretchy tassel, chew fidget etc).

This jigsaw puzzle set is designed for early stage dementia patients. Active Minds is an award winning company that has created a wide range of products in this category. This set is a bit on the difficult side and slated as an activity level 4, which makes it a great activity that you can do together with them. The product is made up of high quality material and can be wiped clean.

Fidget Pillows

These pillows are very similar to the fidget blankets I discussed above. However, they’re more of a permanent fixture in one’s bed or the couch. We reviewed several options online and shortlisted some for you.

Our recommendations

In addition to the regular assortments of tactile activities and material, it also contains a picture holder. This adds a nice touch since you’re able to customize this a bit. Also a great idea to give as a present.

With activities on both sides, this is a nice colorful addition to your living room. They’ve done a great job with using high contrast colors to make the product look more appealing. While red is the most popular color, this is also available in green and blue.