The 10 Best Gifts for People with Parkinson’s of 2021

Make your loved one's life a little easier with these thoughtful gifts

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Parkinson’s disease is a progressive disorder that develops as a result of losing dopamine-producing neurons. “These cells are mainly located in the part of the brain called substantia nigra pars compacta,” explains movement disorders neurologist and Parkinson’s expert Lynda Nwabuobi, MD. “With degeneration of these cells and hence, depletion of dopamine, Parkinson’s disease includes symptoms such as tremor, bradykinesia (slowness), and rigidity manifest.”

This condition can make it more difficult to complete everyday tasks, like moving about the house, putting on clothes, and even speaking. It can be challenging to manage Parkinson’s, especially on your own, so having friends and family there to support really can make the difference. Dr. Nwabuobi says it’s important to remember that Parkinson’s is not fatal and “many people live full enriched lives” with the condition.

We cultivated this gift list with a variety of items that we believe will help make life more manageable for people with Parkinson's, based on the symptoms of the condition. We evaluated and chose these products based on their ergonomic features, the comfort of the materials used, ease of use, and price.

Here are the best gifts for people suffering from Parkinson's disease.

Our Top Picks
These satin sheets are lightweight, breathable, and soft to the touch.
In addition to being conveniently laceless, they’re also lightweight and breathable.
It is said to help people develop better motor control and build up strength through regular use.
It is a great way for Parkinson’s patients to not only keep track of their exercise habits, but all their daily movements.
Each recipe puts a new twist on the traditional Mediterranean diet and makes meals easy to cook.
It lifts your feet while sitting on the toilet to mimic a natural squat.
This stainless steel set weighs 7.2 ounces and has finger indentation to give users a comfortable grip.
It's a great way to get in physical activity throughout the day, whether doing work at your desk or lounging on the couch.
Home Chef delivers nutritious and delicious fully-prepared, oven-ready meals.
It has three different heating levels that help relieve body aches and pains.

Levinsohn Textile Company Satin Charmeuse Silky Sheet Set Collection

Levinsohn Textile Company Satin Charmeuse Silky Sheet Set Collection
Pros
  • Affordable silk sheet alternative

  • 15-inch pockets for deep mattresses

  • Machine washable for easy care

Cons
  • Satin, not true silk

  • Limited color options

Parkinson’s deeply affects people’s functionality and mobility. This can cause poor sleeping patterns because of the difficulty people have turning in bed. Dr. Nwabuobi says silk sheets can make readjusting at night easier for people with Parkinson’s. While silk is nice, it can also be terribly expensive. But these satin silk sheets do the job just fine and are a steal in comparison. These sheets are lightweight, breathable, and soft to the touch. Available in red, black, grey, and ivory, these sheets will add a nice pop of color to the bedroom and make anyone excited to fall asleep.

Allbirds Tree Loungers

Allbirds Tree Loungers
Pros
  • No cumbersome laces; slip-on design

  • Lightweight but also stabilizing

  • Can be worn in warm or cool months

Cons
  • More expensive than similar slip-on styles

  • No half sizes makes proper fit difficult for some wearers

Allbirds has a great selection of slip-on shoes for both men and women. Their Tree Loungers, made from eucalyptus tree fibers, are especially nice. In addition to being conveniently laceless, they’re also lightweight and breathable, making it even easier for people with Parkinson’s to slip them on. With their low-density soles, the Tree Loungers mimic the shape of your feet and add little weight, ensuring your mobility isn’t hindered. Considering tremors are a common symptom of the condition, putting on shoes can be a complicated and time consuming task. But these shoes make the process simple—and it doesn’t hurt that they help the environment by emitting less carbon than petroleum-based foam shoes.

The Pencil Grip Heavyweight Mechanical Pencil Set TPG-652

The Pencil Grip Heavyweight Mechanical Pencil Set TPG-652
Pros
  • Aids in developing hand strength and motor skills

  • Can be used by righties or lefties

  • Decreases tremors and improves handwriting legibility

Cons
  • Customers complain about inability to refill lead

  • Not overly durable or well-constructed

Make your loved one's day-to-day a little easier, starting with their writing utensils.

“Accomplishing tasks can take longer due to slowness of movements,” explains Dr. Nwabuobi. “Writing and performing other fine motor tasks such as putting on jewelry or shaving can become more laborious due to tremor.” Weighted pens are a great way for those with Parkinson’s to cut down on tremors and gain better control of their hand while writing, making the process easier and handwriting more readable. 

This weighted pen from The Pencil Grip is said to help people develop better motor control and build up strength through regular use. It weighs four ounces to add a nice level of heftiness and bring a smooth finish to any writing efforts.

Apple Watch Series 3

Apple Watch Series 3
Pros
  • Tracks all daily movements, not limited to exercise only

  • Monitors your sleep and heart rate

  • Swimproof for water exercise

Cons
  • More expensive than a regular fitness tracker

  • May not be comfortable for everyone to wear on the wrist

  • Needs to be charged frequently

Upon diagnosis, Dr. Nwabuobi advises all her patients to become physically active and start a fitness regimen. Ideally, exercise should include stretching, aerobic activity, and resistance training. “I tell patients to do what they love as long as they are increasing their heart rate and breaking a sweat. This can include speed walking, dancing, yoga, swimming, cycling, boxing, pilates, etc.,” she adds. An apple watch is a great way for Parkinson’s patients to not only keep track of their exercise habits, but all their daily movements. It also monitors heart rates and irregular irregular heart rhythms. Honestly, there’s nothing like a new, shiny device meant to encourage physical activity to make you get up and move.

The Complete Mediterranean Cookbook

The Complete Mediterranean Cookbook
Pros
  • More than 500 recipes from America’s Test Kitchen

  • No unusual or hard-to-find ingredients needed

  • Nutritional information included for every recipe

Cons
  • Recipes aren't always beginner-friendly

  • May not work for home chefs on a limited budget

Most health conditions come with a few lifestyle changes. For Parkinson’s, changing your diet is highly recommended. Dr. Nwabuobi advises patients to incorporate lots of vegetables, high fiber, nuts, legumes, and whole grains into their diet. Due to these elements, a Mediterranean diet is a good model for how to start. The Complete Mediterranean Cookbook comes with over 500 recipes that bring the best of Morocco, Egypt, Turkey, Lebanon, Greece, and more to your kitchen. Each recipe puts a new twist on the traditional Mediterranean diet and makes meals easy to cook, which is perfect for weeknight dining when energy is already low.

Squatty Potty The Original Bathroom Toilet Stool, Slim Teak

Squatty Potty The Original Bathroom Toilet Stool, Slim Teak
Pros
  • Discreet and easy to stow away

  • Helps you achieve a natural squat position and easier bowel movements

  • More attractive than plastic stools

Cons
  • Standard 7” height, not adjustable

  • Many customers complain of poor construction and quality

Constipation is one of the common non-movement symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, which is why many with the condition could benefit from a toilet stool. The Squatty Potty Slim Teak lifts your feet while sitting on the toilet to mimic a natural squat. While the act of pooping is anything but glamorous, the Squatty Potty has a sleek design that will add to any bathroom decor. It’s also easy to clean and tuck away.

What the Experts Say

“An elevated seat on the toilet or a commode frame can help getting on and off the toilet easier,” explains University of Missouri Health Care neurologist, Asma Malik, M.D.

BunMo Weighted Utensils

BunMo Weighted Utensils
Pros
  • Not larger than standard silverware, only heavier

  • Reduces tremors while eating

  • Deep spoon contour to reduce spilling

Cons
  • Expensive for a three-piece set

  • Some people with Parkinson’s will find them too heavy

  • No travel case included for dining out

Weighted utensils like this set from the BunMo Store can make it easier for those with Parkinson's to keep their food on their utensils and make its path to the mouth much smoother. This stainless steel set weighs a minimum of seven ounces per piece, while still maintaining a standard silverware size and shape.

What the Experts Say

“Some patients with tremor experience trouble with handwriting, eating and drinking,” says Dr. Malik. “Weighted utensils can be [useful], and adaptive cutting boards have also been designed to help keep items in place when cutting.”

Cubii Pro Seated Under Desk Elliptical Machine

Pros
  • Fits under your desk or in front of your couch for more exercise opportunities

  • Can be synced to your device to track your mobility throughout the day

  • Quiet, low-impact exercise

Cons
  • Very heavy; would be hard to relocate or move into new position

  • Some users report that the app is ineffective or unreliable

While there is no cure for Parkinson’s, a combination of exercise and the proper pharmacological therapy can alleviate symptoms, says Dr. Nwabuobi. “Animal data suggests that exercise affects dopaminergic neurotransmission and neuroplasticity. Clinically, it helps patients maintain their balance, mobility and activities of daily living,” she explains further. The Cubii Pro Seated Elliptical Machine is a great way to get in physical activity throughout the day, whether doing work at your desk or lounging on the couch. It’s able to sync with smartphones and fitness trackers to keep an accurate record of your pedaled distance, calories burned, and more.

Home Chef Gift Card

Home Chef
Pros
  • No need to go out shopping for ingredients

  • Appropriate for any skill level

  • Choose your meal options and serving sizes based on dietary needs

Cons
  • If orders are less than $49, an additional $10 shipping fee is required

  • Requires some premeditated thought about what you want to eat and when

Consider buying your loved one with Parkinson’s a gift certificate to a meal prep service like Home Chef. Decreased mobility can make cooking a challenge at times, but the meal process can become simpler with a little help from having pre-made meals dropped at your doorstep. Home Chef delivers nutritious and delicious fully-prepared, oven-ready meals. Users can select meals based on dietary preference and have it delivered straight to their door.

Hyde Lane Sherpa Heated Blanket

Hyde Lane Sherpa Heated Blanket
Pros
  • Long power cord for flexible use

  • Three heat levels and auto shut off for safety

  • Machine washable for easy cleaning

Cons
  • Many users report the blanket stopped working after a few months

  • May not be big enough for taller users to be fully covered

Parkinson’s can cause some people to become more sensitive to the cold, which means a heated blanket can come in handy—no matter what time of the year. This 100% polyester electric throw from Hyde Lane is thick and soft, which makes it the perfect snuggle buddy. And with a power cord over six feet, you can position yourself comfortably without worrying about unplugging at any point. It also has three different heating levels that help relieve body aches and pains, making it easier to relax and hopefully, fall asleep.

What the Experts Say

“Parkinson's disease can sometimes interfere with an individual's ability to regulate body temperature, which can make the colder weather less tolerable,” says physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist Ileana Howard, M.D. “Layering warm clothing [or blankets] can sometimes help reduce symptoms associated with the cold.”

Final Verdict

People with Parkinson's disease can benefit from products that assist with mobility and counteract tremors. Weighted objects like Kinsman KEatlery Weighted Utensils (view at Amazon) and the Pencil Grip Heavyweight Weighted Pen (view at Amazon) are easy gifts to help people with Parkinson's move about their day a bit more easily.

What to Look for in a Gift for Someone With Parkinson's Disease

Assisting Mobility

People with Parkinson's can struggle with mobility, so any product that helps make day-to-day life a little easier is usually welcomed. Weighted pens and utensils are a great way to help those who suffer from Parkinson’s tremor move about their day a little more easily.

“Most patients with Parkinson’s suffer from balance issues, stiffness, and slowness that in turn affects their activities of daily living,” says Dr. Malik. “Tasks such as walking, bathing, dressing and at some point, basic hygiene, can also be a struggle.” 

Encouraging Movement

As Dr. Nwabuobi previously mentioned, staying active is a great way to manage Parkinson's symptoms. A gift that encourages mild to moderate activity can be a great way to help your loved one get moving with a little assistance.

You can also consider helping your loved one choose the best mobility device, so they aren’t stuck online shopping on the couch all day. Dr. Malik says some people can comfortably use rollator walkers, while others might prefer canes or even motorized wheelchairs. If you aren’t sure, ask a physician or physical therapist for help.

“Specialized mobility equipment exists for persons with Parkinson's disease that can help improve safety and function with walking,” says Dr. Howard, “so don't hesitate to ask for an evaluation to see if this equipment may be right for your loved one.”  

Soothing Sensitivities

As mentioned before, people with Parkinson's can be more sensitive to cold weather. As the winter months draw near, give your loved one a gift that will keep them comfortable and cozy all season long, whether that's with a heated throw or a set of luxury bed sheets.

Just be sure that whatever you choose for your loved one, it will be safe for use, says Dr. Howard: “Take precautions when applying external heat from warm water, heating pads, or hot water bottles to ensure these don't cause skin injury or burns, in particular for [people] who also have neuropathy or decreased sensation in the affected body part.”

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How can you support a loved one with Parkinson's while also encouraging their independence?

    You want to help, but you don’t want to offend. You also want to make sure your loved one can remain independent for as long as possible. It’s a fine line to walk—when you aren’t sure what the right move is, Dr. Howard says being a strong patient advocate can be the best option. 

    “Having a loved one to help support access to an excellent healthcare team, including early access to rehabilitation professionals, can ensure that the person with Parkinson's disease has the right equipment and exercises to maintain function and independence for as long as possible,” she explains. “Loved ones can play an important role as advocates and wellness partners for their loved ones with Parkinson’s.”

  • Are there treatments available for people with Parkinson's?

    There are a growing number of treatments, says Dr. Howard, designed to improve both movement and other symptoms for persons with Parkinson's. Per The Parkinson’s Foundation, some of these treatments include:


    • Prescription medications, many of which help contain or break down dopamine
    • Physical and occupational therapy
    • Certain vitamins, supplements, and medical marijuana
    • Regular exercise


    At the end of the day, though, a patient won’t be administering these treatments for themselves—so make sure your loved one has a good relationship with their doctors.


    “It's important to find a medical team with expertise in treating Parkinson's, [especially one] you feel comfortable enough with to honestly discuss your concerns and symptoms.”

  • Can you slow the progression of Parkinson's disease?

    While there’s no cure for Parkinson’s, there is one thing you can do every day to manage your symptoms and stave off some of the more severe side effects: exercise.


    “Exercise can help build strength, improve mood, support cognitive or thinking skills, and improve overall health [in people with Parkinson’s],” says Dr. Howard, adding that many patients use exercise to help with symptoms when they feel their Parkinson's medications wearing off. 


    For example, a 2018 study published in Clinical Practice & Epidemiology in Mental Health found that exercise is a key addition to the treatment of Parkinson’s, and can even play both a preventative role in the development of common symptoms.


    “Studies are being conducted [to] determine the best dose and frequency of exercise for persons with Parkinson's disease, but in the meantime, exercise should be incorporated whenever safe and feasible,” says Dr. Howard.

Why Trust Verywell Health?

Having been raised by two medical professionals, Amari Pollard understands the importance of health literacy. As a seasoned health writer, she is committed to producing well-researched and well-sourced product reviews to help people make informed medical decisions.

Additional reporting by Sarah Bradley

Sarah Bradley has been writing health content since 2017—everything from product roundups and illness FAQs to nutrition explainers and the dish on diet trends. She knows how important it is to receive trustworthy and expert-approved advice about over-the-counter products that manage everyday health conditions, from GI issues and allergies to chronic headaches and joint pain.

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2 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. NIH National Institute on Aging. Parkinson's disease. Updated May 16, 2017.

  2. Oliveira de Carvalho A, Filho ASS, Murillo-Rodriguez E, Rocha NB, Carta MG, Machado S. Physical Exercise For Parkinson's Disease: Clinical And Experimental EvidenceClin Pract Epidemiol Ment Health. 2018;14:89-98. Published 2018 Mar 30. doi:10.2174/1745017901814010089