Searching for a Holiday Gift for People With Parkinson’s Disease?

A columnist offers 4 ideas for her dad — including one her father has tested

Mary Beth Skylis avatar

by Mary Beth Skylis |

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Every year, the holidays sneak up on me, and I’m left scrambling for the perfect Christmas gifts. My dad, who has Parkinson’s disease, is particularly tough to shop for, so I’ve taken to looking for Parkinson’s-friendly gifts over the past few years.

One year, I set up a touchless lighting system for him. Another year, I created a network of smart devices so he could always have access to voice calling and other convenient amenities while at home.

This year, I’m looking for something a little bit different. The following are some of my favorite ideas.

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A smartwatch

I’ve been using a smartwatch to track my fitness levels, the weather, and the elevation for years. I’m a mountain athlete who loves frolicking up high.

But I think this tool could be excellent for my dad, too, because it could give him perspective on his sleep habits, daily activity, heart rate, and general wellness. And as smartwatches become more popular, it’s getting easier to find affordable ones.

A seated bicycle or elliptical

Another thing I’ve been thinking about is a seated bicycle or an elliptical.

These devices allow you to pedal from the comfort of the chair of your choosing. A lot of people use them at work or while sitting on the couch, and I think they provide a great way to get the heart pumping without going to the gym.

Adaptive clothing and footwear

This year, I got my dad his first set of adaptive clothing and footwear. The shirt had magnetic buttons, making it extremely easy for him to get dressed in the morning. And his shoes could be slipped on, but they had decorative laces that made them look like standard athletic shoes. He told me the shoes have made a tremendous difference.

And while he wasn’t excited about the idea of adaptive clothing at first, I think the convenience has changed his mind.

Food membership

Ever since the pandemic started, meal delivery kits have become extremely popular. Friends of mine have invested in memberships because the food gets mailed right to your door, and most meals take 30 minutes or less to make.

My mom does the bulk of the cooking for my dad and her. But I think a food membership could be good for them both because it’d cut down on the logistics required for planning healthy meals.

Do you have any holiday gift ideas for people with Parkinson’s disease? Please share them in the comments below.


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.

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