The 10 Best Gifts for People with Parkinson’s of 2020

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 “many people live full enriched lives” with the condition.

One of the ways to help someone in your life dealing with Parkinson’s this holiday season (or whenever!) is to give them a present that not only makes them smile, but works to make their life more manageable and puts some level of control back in their hands. Here are some gift ideas they’ll be sure to love and appreciate.

Our Top Picks

Satin Charmeuse Silky Sheet Set Collection

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. Nwabuibo 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
Courtesy of Allbirds.

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 Weighted Pen

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. Nwabuibo. “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

Upon diagnosis, Dr. Nwabuibo 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

Most health conditions come with a few lifestyle changes. For Parkinson’s, changing your diet is highly recommended. Dr. Nwabuibo 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 Slim Teak

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.

BunMo Weighted Utensils

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.

Cubii Pro Seated Elliptical Machine

While there is no cure for Parkinson’s, a combination of exercise and the proper pharmacological therapy can alleviate symptoms, says Dr. Nwabuibo. “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

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 Faux Fur Electric Throw

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 percent 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.

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 and the Pencil Grip Heavyweight Weighted Pen 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 tremors move about their day a little more easily.

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.

Soothe 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.

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.

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