Holidays Strike Hard for Families of People with Alzheimer’s Disease: Finding Meaningful Gifts Can be a Challenge

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PuzzledMinds has developed high quality wooden puzzles specifically for people with Alzheimer's disease. Founder Patricia Thompson developed them to try to reach out to her father, who suffered from the disease and died in 2003. PuzzledMinds puzzles are a great holiday gift for people with Alzheimer's disease.

Patricia Thompson remembers the year her father, who had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease several years earlier, got three cashmere scarves as Christmas gifts.

“We all wanted to give him something that he could enjoy, something of quality, but by the time the disease had hold of him, there was very little that would be meaningful,” she said.

That Christmas helped plant the seed in Thompson for an idea that has now become PuzzledMinds ( a company that develops activity products uniquely designed for people with Alzheimer’s disease.

PuzzledMinds offers premium all-wood puzzles that have been carefully designed and built for the cognitive and physical needs of Alzheimer’s sufferers. The puzzles feature bold, brightly colored graphics featuring age-appropriate images, such as Americana, travel, sports and nature. Images are repeated inside the puzzle frame to encourage matching. The six- and twelve-piece puzzles have large wooden knobs to assist with manual dexterity and sensory perception, and are laminated for durability.

“With my own father, our whole family was looking for ways to connect with him at the holidays,” said Thompson, whose father died before the prototype puzzles were manufactured. “He could no longer enjoy many of the things that had kept him busy most of his life – reading, travel, puzzles. We all wanted to give him a Christmas gift, of course, so he ended up with three cashmere scarves.”

Thompson said that PuzzledMinds puzzles can be a thoughtful and appropriate gift for anyone with advancing Alzheimer’s disease or other types of dementia.    

More information, including online ordering, is available on the PuzzledMinds web site,, or by calling 800-876-5950.

About PuzzledMinds, LLC

PuzzledMinds, LLC is based in Yarmouth, Maine and develops and markets puzzles and other activity products for people with Alzheimer’s disease and other cognitive disabilities. The company was launched in 2003.

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Colleen Coxe