A Gift Guide for Shopping From Home This Black Friday

Sherri Woodbridge avatar

by Sherri Woodbridge |

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With the biggest shopping day of the year nearly upon us, our anxiety levels may reach extremely high levels. 

Here’s an idea: Shop from home for your favorite Parkinson’s patient. Avoid the maskless coughers and sneezers standing in front of you at the checkout lines who refuse to social distance. Shop from home and avoid the anxiety (and the germs)! 

Each year on my Parkinson’s blog, I write a post on Christmas gift-giving with ideas such as weighted blankets, weighted forks, or weighted pens, and walkers, canes, or other means of “transportation.” The lists go on, including ideas we may have heard of before and ideas we don’t want to hear about again.

This year, I kept a log. So, without further ado, following are items I found potentially appealing.

Rocker knife

The first item that seemed Parkinson’s-friendly was a rocker knife for the kitchen. Instead of struggling to cut your food with a knife and a fork, this “seesaw” knife allows you to use less energy and get a better grip. It’s a great gadget to have on hand in the kitchen. Come to think of it, The Parkinson’s Kitchen would be a great idea for a blog! Who’s feeling creative? 

Kizik sandals

I tried a pair of Kizik sandals because a Parkinson’s friend recommended them. They were well made, but I didn’t find them at all comfortable. I would describe them as stiff. They are often marketed toward people with Parkinson’s due to their hands-free design and the springiness in the heel. I found I still had to pull up the heel after inserting my foot.

However, Lori DePorter, a fellow Parkinson’s News Today columnist, tried a pair of Kiziks and seemed to enjoy them. So, it is like with anything else: One person falls head over heels for an item, but the next person … not so much.

Motion-activated night light

A motion-activated night light is a great stocking stuffer and a big help for those who get up in the middle of the night. It turns on only when there is movement, leaving you to sleep in darkness when you climb back into bed.

Life Alert

Life Alert is a medical alert system specifically designed to protect your loved one in an emergency. If you fall and can’t get up, can’t reach a phone, are stuck in the shower, or have another similar emergency, Life Alert can offer peace of mind to a caregiver or to a person with Parkinson’s. What better gift is there than that?

Speax underpants

Having Parkinson’s invites its own set of problems. Parkinson’s can steal your dignity and your self-respect by causing you to be unable to make it to the bathroom in time, creating an embarrassing situation. Speax by Thinx can help to restore your dignity. You may want to try it if you have a hard time wearing “big kid” paper underwear. With styles including bikini, hiphugger, hi-waist, and more, Speax fabric underpants are pleasing to the eye and absorb humiliating leakage.

As I looked through this gift list, I noticed something interesting. Many of the gifts offer something more than a material product. They provide peace of mind, dignity, self-esteem, and light in the darkness. Those are some of the greatest gifts you can give — or receive.


Note: Parkinson’s News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Parkinson’s News Today or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Parkinson’s disease.


John Bredenkamp avatar

John Bredenkamp

Hi Sherri,
I've only been on this journey for four months now and am only starting to know how little I know, and I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate your blog posts. I have being going back to read earlier one's and have enjoyed your style of writing and found them most informative.
I'm still struggling with deciding how many people to tell about my condition or not. I believe PD is a co-morbidity as far as Covid 19 is concerned, so by refusing to attend certain events for that reason, unless I share the news, people will find it odd. Any thoughts on creating greater awareness amongst one's friends, neighbours etc?

Sherri Woodbridge avatar

Sherri Woodbridge

Hi John - Welcome to the club! :-)

I am glad you are enjoying my posts and are finding some information there useful.

I would say that if sharing your new journey works or steers itself naturally into a conversation where you can share, then do it. But make sure those you want to know by hearing from you personally first are told first (family and friends), as even the best intentioned person can let private information slip unintentionally. Hope that made sense. You can also send them to sites you have found useful for PD info and they can begin educating themselves. When they understand what you are now dealing with, they should understand that you are at greater risk with Covid-19 and hopefully will be sensitive to that. Feel free to contact me anytime with questions or just to talk. - sherri


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