42 Gift Ideas for People with Parkinson's Disease

Updated

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Parkinson's disease is a progressive disease of the nervous system. Although there are a variety of symptoms of the disease, it is often characterized by body tremors, rigid muscles, and slow movement. 

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Parkinson's may also affect the patient's personality. Even if your family member enjoyed something in the past, you might find that their nature and preferences have changed due to the disease.

Since Parkinson's patients typically have a difficult time moving, you might consult lists of gifts for the bedridden. 

Birthday or Holiday Gifts for Loved Ones with Parkinson's

What does your loved one truly want for a birthday or holiday? You could buy a small gift or go all out with these gift ideas for people with Parkinson’s disease.  


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1. Pedicure

Depending on where on the body the person's tremors occur, you may want to take your friend out for a pedicure. Those with Parkinson's suffer from stiff muscles and your loved one may be unable to paint their toenails on their own. 

Consider your friend’s condition before purchasing this gift. Only buy it if you are able to transport your friend to the spa and assist them in getting in and out of the chair.

You can also consider picking up a manicure and pedicure set and bringing the spa to your friend's home.

2. Audiobook streaming service

Your friend may already have a streaming video service or cable TV, but they may not have an audiobook account. Get your friend started by purchasing some of your favorite novels. Your friend may need technical assistance to get started with the gift.

3. Digital photo frame

Your friend may have a difficult time managing large photo albums. Instead, load a digital photo frame with images from their life. Consider scanning some of the older photos so the digital frame can include pictures from various decades.  

4. Cleaning service

Your friend may have difficulty cleaning their house due to Parkinson’s. Consider hiring a maid service for your friend or promise to come over every two weeks to give the place a proper cleaning. 

5. Weighted blanket

Weighted blankets are go-to gifts for people who suffer from anxiety. Your friend or family member may feel calmer with a weighted lap pad, shoulder wrap, or blanket. However, please do not expect it to lessen the shaking.

6. A piece of cake

You don't have to get anything fancy for your friend with a birthday. People with Parkinson's sometimes have difficulty walking, so they may love merely spending the afternoon with you at their home.

Of course, it wouldn't be a birthday without cake and ice cream. Depending on your loved one’s Parkinson’s severity, you may need to feed them the treat.

Practical Gifts or Gadgets for Loved Ones with Parkinson's

Innovative thinkers have dreamed unique assistive devices for people with Parkinson's. Check out these gadgets that may help your loved one with Parkinson's lead a more comfortable life.

7. Seat lift

Your family member may already have a recliner that helps them move to a standing position. You may not realize that you can place portable products in dining room chairs or other living room chairs that can help your loved one stand.

These chair lifts may enable your loved one to remain independent for a bit longer.

8. Digital clock

Parkinson's patients sometimes have memory issues. If your loved one loses track of time, consider purchasing a clock that provides the time of day and date. Some can be set with voice reminders that it is time to take medicine or eat a meal. 

9. Weighted utensils

If your loved one struggles to feed himself, you may see if weighted utensils help the situation. You may also see if a weighted plate helps.

It’s hard to know what to say when someone is sick. Instead of offering sympathy messages, consider purchasing gifts that may keep your loved one as independent as possible. 

10. Weighted writing gloves

Consider seeing if a weighted handwriting glove would help if your friend's shaking prevents them from writing. 

11. Commode

Making the trek from the bedroom to the bathroom in the middle of the night may be exhausting for your friend. Eliminate the long journey by providing a commode for your family member.

12. Shirt with magnetic buttons

Your friend or family member wants to remain independent for as long as possible. Consider purchasing clothing that is easy to get on and easy to remove. Button-up shirts may be easier to get on than over-the-head shirts but your family member may have a difficult time manipulating the buttons. 

Look for assistive devices for dressing such as long-reach shoe horns or shirts with magnetic buttons

13. Bed assist

Your loved one may have a difficult time getting in and out of bed. Depending upon how far the Parkinson's has progressed, they may be able to use one of the many types of bed assistance items

14. Long-handled bath brush

Your family member's muscles may have become rigid because of the disease. Bathing may be tricky. A long-handled bath brush with luxury liquid bath soap may be appreciated. 

Cozy or Relaxing Gifts for Loved Ones With Parkinson's

Are you looking for a relaxing gift for someone in the hospital or for someone who is recovering at home? These gift ideas may be appropriate for someone who has Parkinson's. 


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15. Pillow

Your friend may have a difficult time getting comfortable in bed. Having a variety of sizes and styles of pillows may help your friend create just the right comfort level. 

16. Flowers

Fresh-cut flowers certainly brighten up a room. Surprise your friend or family member with a bouquet of their favorite buds.

17. Luxurious sheets

Check the size of your loved one's bed and purchase a new set of soft sheets. Your friend may have a difficult time getting out of bed, so you may want to choose a slicker material rather than a flannel set.

18. Fish tank

Looking at a fish tank can lower a person's blood pressure. This relaxing gift will also give your bedridden friend something to look at besides a screen.

Of course, if you bring a fish tank into the house, you must be in charge of feeding the fish and cleaning the tank.

19. Bird feeder

Check with a birder in your area to learn what types of bird feeders and seeds bring in the most feathered friends.

Place the bird feeder in a place visible from your loved one's favorite chair. You may also add a book about area birds to the gift. 

20. Sweet treats

What is your family member's favorite treat? Is it cherry pie, chocolate cake, or frosted animal crackers? Would they love an assortment of baked goods? Learn what items your loved one craves and bring some to them.

21. Electric blanket

Some people with Parkinson's have a difficult time with temperature regulation. If your family member is always cold, consider purchasing an electric blanket.

Check with your loved one’s doctor before making the purchase. Your family member may need to be monitored when using the gift.

22. Lotion

Aromatherapy can be a powerful thing. Since lavender has a calming effect, consider gifting your family member with lavender-scented luxury body lotions

23. Sweater

Purchase a lovely cashmere sweater in your loved one's favorite color. 

24. Cozy robe

Robes are soft and warm, but they are also easy for people with Parkinson's to get on without assistance. If you buy matching slippers, make sure they are made of a non-slip material and fit well. Ill-fitting shoes can cause older adults to fall or trip.

25. Essential oil diffuser

Your friend or family member may enjoy having soothing smells waft through the house. Oil diffusers can be beautiful to look at as well. 

Gifts for an Older Adult With Parkinson’s Disease

What do you know about the gift recipient? Are they trying to downsize in anticipation of moving? Then don’t buy collectibles or items to display. 

Are they on a restricted diet? Know their food preferences and dietary restrictions before surprising them with food or treats.

Do they struggle getting dressed each day? Avoid drawing attention to this problem by buying socks or other items they would struggle using.

We know that these questions will narrow down the list of appropriate gifts. However, here are some to consider.

26. Bluetooth speaker

Elderly people struggle with technology. However, a helpful caregiver may assist your family member or friend with listening to music, books, or old radio shows on a BlueTooth speaker.

27. Grocery store gift cards

Your friend may be on a strict budget. Help with the food bill may be greatly appreciated.

28. Vintage magazines

If your friend has the dexterity to flip through magazines, consider purchasing some of the vintage variety that you find at antique stores. They may enjoy walking down memory lane as they admire older clothing styles.

29. Plants

Your friend may no longer be able to garden outside, but they may enjoy caring for a plant. Consider a high-maintenance plant to help your friend fill the long hours at home. 

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30. Tapes, records, or CDs

An older adult may have access to older ways to listen to music. Purchase music collections from when your friend was a teenager on tape, record, or CD. You might also buy movies on VHS or DVD.

31. Go for a drive

We know this isn’t a traditional gift, but your elderly loved one may want to get out of the house. Unfortunately, going to restaurants and other public spaces might be tricky for someone with mobility issues. 

So instead, consider taking your family member or friend out for a drive. You might need assistance to get them in and out of the car, but they may love seeing how their community has changed. 

Father’s or Mother’s Day Gifts for a Loved One With Parkinson’s Disease

It’s difficult to see someone you love suffer from a debilitating disease. Likewise, it’s tough when a person’s personality changes due to Parkinson’s. Our hearts go out to you if you are caring for your folks. 

Here are some Father’s or Mother’s Day gifts for someone with mild Parkinson’s.

32. Dinner out in a private dining room

Some people with Parkinson’s would prefer a private setting when enjoying a meal out of the home. Consider looking for restaurants that offer private dining rooms. You might need to book these in advance!

33. Family photos

Celebrate being together by hiring someone to take photos of your multi-generational family.

34. Mother’s Day jewelry

Purchase a piece of Mother’s Day jewelry that is easy to get on and off. These personalized gifts may be treasured forever.

35. iPad

If your parents aren’t intimidated by technology, you could open a whole new world to them by purchasing an iPad. They might need assistance using it at times, but they may enjoy playing games, connecting with grandkids, or surfing the web using this device. Make sure you also purchase a sturdy case.

36. Ancestry subscription

Has your parent expressed interest in learning more about their family history? Get them started with an Ancestry subscription if they aren’t intimidated by technology.

37. Yardwork

Gather the family together to work on your mom and dad’s yard to celebrate their special days. Replace the mulch in the flower beds and plant annuals. Your parents might not be able to participate, but they will appreciate being able to look out over a well-manicured yard. 

38. Digitized home movies

Are your old home movies in a format that you can view? Digitize your family’s home movies and share them with your mom or dad. 

Practical or Assistive Gifts for a Loved One With Parkinson’s Disease

We’re sorry, but you may have to come to terms that your loved one needs additional help to complete their daily tasks. Thankfully, there are a lot of products on the market designed for those with mobility issues. Scan earlier sections of the article for some of the most popular items. Here are some additional ideas. 

39. Smart home products

Are you looking for a practical gift? Consider smart home products for a tech-friendly senior. For example, controlling a thermostat from the main floor of the house may be appreciated by someone with mobility issues.

40. Fall detection devices

Your family member or friend with Parkinson’s has an increased risk of falling. Unfortunately, they may not be able to get up on their own. However, with a fall detection device, they hopefully will not have to spend much time on the floor before someone is alerted to come and help. 

There are many different fall detection devices and services. You may also consider checking into how an Apple watch could assist you in keeping your family member safe.

41. Car door handle

Does your loved one struggle getting in and out of a car? Search for this assistive device on Amazon that helps people have something to push against as they exit a vehicle. This handle is portable and is designed to work with any vehicle. 

42. Bed ladder

Does your loved one have a difficult time getting out of bed? If they have upper body strength, they may benefit from having a bed ladder. 

This device attaches to the bottom of the bed. The Parkinson’s patient can pull on it as they attempt to get in a seated position. It can also be helpful for someone with back issues or in the advanced stages of pregnancy. 

Other Ways to Assist a Parkinson's Patient

As the disease progresses, your loved one may become less independent. They may need assistance with grocery shopping or preparing food. They may also need help cleaning and maintaining a house and writing checks to pay bills. 

As time passes, your family member may need help dressing, bathing, eating, and toileting.  

Besides helping with these necessary acts, they will need your emotional support. Imagine how difficult it would be if your thoughts and memories were intact, but your body refused to cooperate with your commands. It would be frustrating and embarrassing not to be able to care for yourself.

Arm yourself with patience and understanding as you care for your loved one with Parkinson's. Instead of becoming frustrated with the situation, try to put yourself in the patient's shoes. 

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