Gift Ideas For Older Parents (Updated 2022)
Unique Gift Ideas For Older Parents
If you’re looking for must have gift ideas for older parents and grandparents, then you’re in the right place! Introducing our bumper list of gifts for the elderly. We’ve been busy updating it to bring you the best present inspiration around.
From personalised gifts and dementia-friendly gifts to the best presents to stay active in later life, there is something for everyone – no matter how hard they are to buy for.
There’s a range of budget options, but it’s not about the money spent – these gift ideas for older parents show you care at Christmas or any time of the year. We’ve got a number of categories, you can always use the table of contents below to help navigate to a specific part. We hope you find it useful!
- Gift Ideas For Older Parents (Updated 2022)
- Unique Gift Ideas For Older Parents
- Tech Gifts For Older Parents
- Gifts For Someone Who Is Always Cold
- Games To Stay Entertained
- Gifts For Mum
- Active Gift Ideas
- Dementia Friendly Gifts
- Christmas Gifts For Gardeners
- Gifts That Help The Environment
- Care Home Gift Ideas
- Thoughtful Gifts For People With Parkinson's Disease
- Go The Extra Mile With Personalised Gifts
Some of the links in this article are affiliate which means if you click on them, we may earn a small commission at no cost to you.
Tech Gifts For Older Parents
If you’re looking for great gadgets for the elderly, look no further. These are our favourite gadgets to help people stay connected and entertained. Some of these presents may be more practical than luxury, but they’re sure to improve quality of life for your favourite older person. They make great Christmas gifts for older people or just simply if you want to send gifts for people in isolation.
This has to be one of our favourite useful gifts for older parents – and don’t just take our word for it as other caregivers agree!
This new version of the Amazon Echo Show lets family members and friends ‘drop in’ and share some face time with the user. So you can reliably make and receive video calls more easily with your parent, no matter how techy (or not!) they are.
There’s nothing technical for them to do, or button to push so it’s great for people with dementia or cognitive decline. This helpful tool for the elderly is a really entertaining and comforting way to be together when you’re apart.
There’s so many other reasons why an Alexa is an inspiring gift. Your mum or dad can use it to relax (requesting music or ways to meditate), stay safe (did you know that you can ask Alexa to turn on a night light which could help to prevent a late-night fall, or remind them about medication) or keep them up to date (“Alexa, what’s the news today?”).
Find out more about why we think the Echo Show is so good for the elderly here.
When my dad watches the TV you know about it, wherever you are in the house! That’s because and the volume is turned up so high – and whilst he does turn it down slightly when requested, it’s still a bit too loud for my ears.
It’s because of this that I think the Sony Wireless TV Handy Speaker is so great. This portable wireless TV speaker enhances the sound of the TV wherever the hearing impaired person is, without making it too loud for anyone else in the room.
So much better than a sound bar which just makes the sound louder (for everyone), this enhances dialogue and makes speech clearer.
It’s like they are in a little vortex, where the volume is perfect for them but anyone else watching the TV (or even elsewhere in the house) won’t be deafened and will hear it as per the volume set by the remote.
Sync it with the TV and then this portable volume control can be moved around wherever your parent is. Wireless, we’d recommend it’s docked and charging when not in use so it’s ready to go when your parent wants to watch TV.
Gifts For Someone Who Is Always Cold
Make someone really feel warm and fuzzy with your gift this Christmas! Being serious for a moment, the rise in energy bills is going to be felt by everyone this winter, so we’ve looked at some presents that will help with this. Our selection of cold weather clothing, accessories and smart gadgets areset to keep your elderly relatives warm in and outside.
Have you heard about The Able Label? This British fashion label produces quality clothes that tick the box when it comes to style and ease of dressing. Their USP is making clothes that are easy to get on and off so help with independent dressing, something that becomes more important as we age.
Personally I love a classic design and our pick is this knee length and toasty warm diamond quilted coat.
It replaces their previous puffa which was a best seller so couldn’t resist this…it’s stylish, lightweight and warm and is easy to do up.
It has a popper fastening front, with helpful carefully positioned velcro patches to encourage independent dressing. It also has a slippery lining making it easier to get on and off. Plus it’s machine washable too.
The Able Label also run a Buy and Try scheme so your relative can try the coat out and see if the simple yet effective design adaptations make independent dressing easier. Their clothes are eligible for VAT disability exemptions for those that qualify too.
Brrrr, honey it’s cold outside! Yes, the cold weather is settling in and older adults, especially those that are less mobile, can find the winter months particularly chilly. There is a clothing solution that isn’t just putting on layers and layers (as let’s be honest, that isn’t overly comfortable always is it).
Let us introduce you to a heated waistcoat or heated gilet. It can be a game-changer for staying warm outside and inside (as let’s be honest, the rising energy bills mean we’re all going to be more frugal with our heating this winter aren’t we).
Slimline, you can wear it on top of a long sleeved top and under a jumper or jacket without appearing too bulky.
This one has a rechargeable battery in the pocket that generates heat across your mid back and chest for up to ten hours of comfortable warmth.
A great gift for those wanting to watch the grandchildren play their sports matches or enjoy the crisp winter mornings.
My lovely friend Heather introduced me to these chargeable hand warmers, which keep hands toasty warm even when the weather isn’t. She has poor circulation in her hands and a pair of gloves alone just doesn’t suffice when the temperature drops.
Ergonomic and sleek in design, they grip nicely in the palm of the hand to warm it up. They’re also a good gift for people with arthritis as they aid circulation and provide relief from aches and pains. Their reusability also makes them more environmentally friendly and means they can be used daily.
And whilst we don’t want to sound like a broken record talking about heating prices this winter, using heated hand warmers is just another way your loved one can keep their energy costs down and stay warm at the same time.
We like these USB reusable hand warmers from Amazon.
Searches for “how to stay warm without heating” are on the up so this is a classic gift and one which will be gratefully received this winter as we all try to keep our heating bills down.
Stay warm inside with a heated blanket – great for using when the heating is off, or a real blast of warmth is needed. As our parents get older, they can often feel the cold more easily so this cuddly and practical gift ticks the boxes! We like this fleecy grey blanket. It has ten different heat settings and a built in timer for added safety. The timer can be set from 1-9 hours to ensure you stay warm through out the cold nights. They are very simple to use and can be easily set up for someone so that they only have to switch it on when they want to use it.
What to buy someone who is always cold? This free-standing flame effect electric heater could be the answer. There’s a choice of two different heat settings and a thermal cut off safety feature.
But what we really like is how you can have the flame effect on without the heating. Just seeing the ‘fire’ can subliminally make people feel warmer, and the quiet rolling sound effect adds to the ambience. We’ve heard of pets falling asleep in front of it without the heat on too!
As a physiotherapist we are always recommending well fitting slippers with backs and rubber sole to improve someones mobility and reduce falls. We love CosyFeet – a British company which makes stylish shoes, slippers and socks for people with wide feet. And these sheepskin lined booties are great for keeping people comfortable and warm this winter.
On the expensive side for slippers but well worth investing if they are spending a lot of time indoors. They have a rubber sole and can also be worn outdoors meaning you don’t have to can your shoes to put the bins out!
Also a great gift for someone with Diabetes who needs to take extra care of their feet as they are Diabetic Friendly with a seam free toe area.
The wool upper gently moulds to the shape of the foot and the breathable sheepskin lets the feet breathe. They’re cushioned and super comfy!
Games To Stay Entertained
Games can entertain, boost memory power, while away the time – all in all, they’re a great gift idea. Here are some of our favourites.
I LOVE this game – my parents bought a version of it years ago and I always used to play it with them and my grandma. It’s one of those easy wholesome games that can get the whole family involved, so you’re not just giving a gift but a way to spend time together (and what could be more special than that?).
Mancala is an ancient African game where players sow ‘seeds’. It’s a great two player game (as let’s be honest, fun two player games can be quite hard to come across).
Each player takes one side of the board (with six hollows each) and places four beads in each hollow. The aim is to get as many beads as possible, taking it in turns to ‘sow seeds’ in the hollows.
If the last seed is sown in the opponents row and the hollow concerned finishes with two or three seeds, those seeds are captured.
This version comes with colourful crystals as pieces. Not only does it make for a beautiful entertaining present, but picking up and moving the small crystals is good for hand mobility.
Does a banana spring to mind when you think about a word game? If your answer is no, well we’re here to convince you otherwise!
Bananagrams is the quick fire word game that’s sure to get your brain firing. (and you laughing / cringing at the banana puns at the same time). To start, you share tiles out between the players (after saying ‘split’), and then have to make a mini Scrabble-esque board of your own, using your own letters. Finished all your letters? Shout ‘banana’. Take another letter? Shout ‘peel’.
The beauty of Bananagrams is that it can also be played solo. How many words can your loved one make out of the 144 tiles? Plus it comes in a big letter version so they are even easier to pick up and handle.
Cribbage, bridge, whist – all these timeless card games require shuffling. Card shuffling can become harder as we age due to a lack of hand movement, so an automatic card shuffler is a great gift for grandparents. It’s not just for the croupiers at the casino!
Thoughtful and inexpensive, it can shuffle up to two decks at a time. Just remember to wrap up some AA batteries too so they can use it straightaway!
Gifts For Mum
My mum always struggles to find shoes that tick both the fashion and comfort boxes. So she’s delighted to have heard about Friendly Shoes.
These are smart trainers with a difference. They are wide fitting, let you put in your own orthotic in place of the cushioned memory foam insole, lightweight and most excitingly, they are incredibly easy to get on and off the foot because they feature a zip all the way down the side or round the back (so your foot can slide in). And unlike lots of other ‘adaptive shoes’, you’ll be proud to put your foot forward in them!
There are three styles for men and women:
Voyage: Tie the laces once and set the tension, and then just rely on the zip to get them on and off. Their bestseller for women is the Voyage navy peach (sizes 3-8) and it also comes in a white and a black for men and women.
Excursion: This style features the discreet back zip and is the deepest, most cushioned style. Tie the laces once and then put them on by opening up the zip. From sizes 3 to 12 for men and women, in a range of colours.
Force: There are no laces so the ankle opening is slightly roomier on this style. Made from fly knit, this shoe is incredibly light and can be worn outside or as a seriously comfy house slipper. Choose from grey or black for men and women.
This shoes also offers VAT disability exemption for those who are eligible.
It can get harder to do up necklace clasps and put earrings on as we get older. If your mum has limited hand dexterity, then this glam but everyday jewellery from The Able Label will help. Magnetic necklace clasps and adjustable lengths are great for people with arthritis, Parkinson’s and other conditions where getting dressed independently can become harder. We love this pearl necklace and the more modern Botanical necklace too but they have lots of other options, as well as clip on earrings and easy on bracelets.
Also helpful for those with early dementia who might be prone to putting their precious jewellery in a “safe place” and then finding it difficult to find!
You don’t get much more luxurious than a mulberry silk pillowcase. Considering the amount of time we spent lying on our pillows, silk slip pillowcases can really make a difference when it comes to hair quality (goodbye knots!) and face creases overnight. As we get older, our skin loses its elasticity which is why that imprint from sleeping takes longer to disappear come morning time.
They’re also cooler to sleep on than cotton or synthetic materials, so if your mum is going through the menopause or finds it hard to regulate their temperature then this could help.
Mulberry silk is the highest quality you can find – think of it as the Egyptian cotton equivalent. This is a great mulberry silk pillowcase that will make mum smile but won’t break the bank.
This has my mum written all over it! This shapely bag is by British brand The Cambridge Satchel Company. Started by Julie Deane from her kitchen table, the company has now been featured in Vogue and is known for its beautiful craftsmanship.
The company may be well known for its satchels but we love this Poppy bag. Large enough to hold the necessities without getting too heavy, it can either be swung over the shoulder or held by the arm. Available in eight stunning colours – this is the midnight picnic matte.
Heat has a magic effect on aches and pains, and a hot water bottle really lets you target where those niggles are. Add to that the fact that the weather temperature has just significantly dropped and we’re all looking for ways to save on our heating bills…a warm and cosy hot water bottle is just the solution.
Hot water bottles don’t have to be a functional gift though. We’re big fans of these stylish options from The Able Label. They’re made in the UK with British Standard approval (you should always look for this when buying a safe hot water bottle – the current standard is 1970:2012 which should be clearly marked).
Choose from the discreet mini hot water bottle – the colourful cotton cover is giving me holiday vibes with its elephant print. It’s small enough to heat your mum whilst not being overtly visible, for example if she was holding it on her lap whilst she had visitors. Or go big with this larger spotty style which is perfect for taking to bed.
Active Gift Ideas
Our balance declines as we get older, but staying active is proven to help this, reducing our risk of falling over. The good news is that it’s never too late to start. So here’s our pick of the best physiotherapist recommended exercise products for the older person in your life.
My mum swears by her weekly pilates class. It’s nothing fancy – she started it over Zoom in lockdown, and now alternates between attending virtually or in person. When she’s at home, the one piece of equipment she needs is her padded pilates mat.
Whether your parent uses it for pilates, yoga or physiotherapy stretches, an extra padded exercise mat ensures maximum comfort. Getting up and down from the floor, and lying down (on our backs and our sides) becomes harder as we age so the more cushioning we can get, the better.
At 1.5cm thick, it’s comfy underfoot without being springy. The material is non-slip so you can place the smooth side on a wooden floor or tiles without worrying about it moving. The other side (which you are on) has ridges for additional grip.
Have you heard about Pickleball? This racquet game is the fastest growing sport in the UK, something which Pickleball England attribute to it its accessibility for all ages – anyone really can play (we’ve got all the rules here).
If your parent wants to improve their cardiovascular health, work on their stamina and get a new social activity under their belt then Pickleball could be for them.
It is a paddle game that combines badminton, table tennis and tennis. Lower octane but no less as fun than these more well-known sports, this strangely-named activity has become a senior exercise success!
A low-weight graphite pickleball paddle is a great gift idea for an older sports player. The lower the weight, the easier it is to control the ball. This set is good value as we appreciate that beginners don’t always want to spend too much on their sporting gear (there’s no “all the gear no idea” here!).
If your parent is hesitant about exercising due to a fear of falling, or wants to start but isn’t sure how to, then a pedal exerciser could be just what they need.
Recent research from the University of Liverpool found that an exercise peddler is an effective way of improving muscle strength and cardiovascular function in older adults after a hip replacement – but this can also be true if your parent is recovering from a stroke, has diabetes, some form of memory loss or just wants to move more.
This seated pedal exerciser is a great way for your parent to increase their low-impact exercise, either for their legs or arms (by placing it on a table).
The digital screen shows them how far they’ve pedalled and it’s a serious space saver compared to an exercise bike. If you think this could be useful for someone recovering from a stroke, then check out our in-depth round-up of gifts to aid stroke recovery.
Nordic walking is becoming ever more popular especially as people have embraced the great outdoors post covid. Pole walking for seniors has great benefits, helping to increase balance and mobility and reduce pressure on your joints.
Nordic walking poles can be height adjusted, encourage straight posture and have ergonomic handles. They are much better suited for covering uneven terrain that a standard walking stick they make a great gift for someone who loves the outdoors but might have become a bit fearful of falling.
We like the ones below as a starter (they’re not too expensive and are best sellers).
Dementia Friendly Gifts
Our articles on dementia activities are some of the most popular on our website – so we know that people want to find dementia friendly gifts. Here are our favourite gifts for someone with dementia.
Arts And Crafts For Dementia
Research into dementia and art therapy has shown that it can have positive health benefits for people, including reducing blood pressure and making them feel more calm.
This reusable water painting art activity of garden wonders comes with five designs and has been specially developed by Relish (formerly Active Minds) to nurture the minds of people living with dementia. It’s also available in lots of different designs (ocean life, the garden). This is a great product which is mess free and can be easily whipped out in a moment of boredom.
Relish products are fab – we look at a wide selection of them in our puzzles for dementia article. From jigsaws to tactile snap and snakes and ladders, they are quality games that you will want to play with your loved one.
Dementia Friendly Films
This is the most amazing idea – I found out about it after someone close to me experienced it. My Life Films is a charity that uses filmmaking to improve the lives of people living with dementia. They create 30-minute personalised films that capture the life story of an individual living with dementia. Featuring their photos, favourite music and filmed interviews with loved ones, it’s a beautiful and lasting form of reminisence therapy.
The films are free, and you can apply to have one made. A great dementia gift would be a donation to My Life Films so that they can continue to spread this love and light to people affected by dementia.
If you’re asking yourself ‘what’s the best radio for dementia?’ then the answer is THIS ONE! It’s no secret that we are huge fans of Relish (years of research go into their innovative and quality products for people living with dementia) and this gift is music to our ears (see what we did there?!).
Music is evocative and can offer a moment of calm and memory to someone with dementia. This accessible radio for dementia helps them (or their carer) play their favourite tunes easily.
Buttons are there for function – there’s not loads to confuse you, and they are large making them easier to touch and twist. The sound is loud and clear and it’s easy to programme and save your loved one’s favourite stations. Plus there’s a USB at the back so you can also use the clear speakers to play music they love, and place it next to them.
Plus it looks like a ‘normal’ radio. There’s no reason why your loved one should compromise on what it looks like.
Want to know more? Read our review of why this is the best dementia radio.
These are perfect non-fiction books for people with dementia. The DK Books cover almost any subject (from Ancient Greece to travel, fossils to aeroplanes and lots in between!). Very visual with pictures and easy to read captions, they are the perfect dementia gift for someone who still loves reading and learning but is no longer able to read full books.
Christmas Gifts For Gardeners
We’ve all come to appreciate our gardens even more since covid, so a useful (or even unusual) gardening gift is a great idea. We’ve written all about gardening tips for people as they get older too if you want to check that out – but without futher ado, here are our favourite Christmas gifts for gardeners.
We have it on good authority (from our founder Nancy’s mum) that these are the best garden secateurs. Hand made in Japan, they are exact and lightweight – at just 190g, they are suitable for people with arthritis in their hands. The bright yellow grip also means they are easy to find, and you can buy a version for the left or right hand, or even larger hands.
And if you want to learn about other useful products for people with arthritis, then you’re in luck!
Raised garden beds look great but are also good for elderly gardeners as they don’t have to lean down or kneel. These raised planter boxes are easy to assemble and are covered in water-resistant paint so are durable enough for outdoor use all year long. There are eight separate cubes so you can grow different flowers, herbs and vegetables separately and each cube has drainage.
This is the future of kitchen herb gardens! The VegeBox is eco-friendly and comes with automated, LED lights to ensure plants flourish. You can use it for herbs, but also to grow flowers and plants. It’s easy to maintain – the roots are suspended in water and air so they get enough water and oxygen for fast and healthy growth and long life. Great for a garden enthusiast that struggles to access the garden easily, bring a little of the garden inside.
Gifts That Help The Environment
With sustainability more important than ever, here are the best green Christmas gifts for grandparents.
Looking for gift ideas for animal lovers? Look no further than a bat box! Bats are important for our eco-system but their numbers are dwindling. An artificial roost provides bats with alternative resting places or encourages them into new areas. This bat box has been designed by the Bat Conservation Trust.
My husband’s parents love walking and always take an insulated cup (or thermos) out with them. They rave about this travel mug so who am I to ignore – instead I want to share it with you!
Number one, it keeps products as hot as when they were put in for hours (so don’t make a drink too boiling if it will be too hot).
Easy to clean, the rubberized exterior is good for gripping. To open, your parent will need to have finger strength to push the button down. Leak proof and stylish, this is a contender for best gift for eco friendly grandparents.
These sustainable food wraps are like reusable cling film – but much prettier and eco-friendly! Put them over containers in the fridge, wrap up sandwiches for a picnic or even wrap herbs in them to keep fresher for longer (and then there’s no excuse for plastic). With beautiful patterns, they’re a good way to add colour to the table. Just make sure your parent washes them in cold or lukewarm water – too hot and the wax will melt.
Care Home Gift Ideas
When my partner’s grandma was in a care home, he always gave her sweet-smelling soap for Christmas so that she had lovely products to wash with. Here are our suggestions for best gifts for a relative in a care home (soap not included!). They can easily be sent if you’re not able to visit them in the care home too.
Essentially this is a picture frame that you can send pictures to! It can sit in your parents’ care home and you can update it with photos of you and the family at the touch of a button. If your older parent doesn’t have WiFi in thir room then there are digital photo frame Stroke gifts digital photo frameStroke gifts digital photo frameoptions that work with a USB, and show the photos loaded on there. It’s a really great thoughtful gift idea for older parents and grandparents.
They also make a good talking point when visiting and help to trigger memories and conversation.
An alternative to slippers, these lightweight shoes can be worn outside and are easy to put on and take off – either independently or with the help of a carer. What’s more, they’re wide fitting and have anti-slip soles. Available in subtle and bright colours from adaptive brand Friendly Shoes, they’re a welcome functional gift idea.
This natural sleep aid is proven to aid a good night’s sleep and is great for a restless sleeper. Your loved one can spray it on the pillow to help them fall asleep faster, reduce sleep anxiety and improve sleep quality. A lovely thoughtful and luxury gift for someone who has almost everything!
Another present to encourage a good night’s sleep is a therapeutic weighted blanket. The extra pressure from the weight mimics a therapeutic technique called deep pressure stimulation which relaxes the nervous system. A great care home gift idea, we like this weighted blanket from Amazon.
Thoughtful Gifts For People With Parkinson’s Disease
Here are some suggestions of gifts for people with Parkinson’s disease. We’ve chosen gifts that they can enjoy and will make their life easier at the same time. If you want more inspiration, check out our article on the best Parkinson’s aids.
The Able Label makes beautiful clothes for men and women that make getting dressed easier thanks to secret velcro fastenings and other easy-on adaptive designs. Here’s our pick for men and women – but also check them out here for everything from stylish yet practical underwear to coats!
People living with Parkinson’s disease may experience micrographia (very small, cramped handwriting), or they may find it hard to write with a pen due to hand tremors. This pen might look like a chicken wishbone, but it’s been ergonomically designed to support the natural weight of your hand by cradling the index finger.
Unlike other pens which you grip, the weight of your hand holds it in place. Yes, it may take a little getting used to but it can and does lead to accurate and fluid writing.
So you’ve got the pen, but what do you write in? A journal!
Coming to grips with a disease like Parkinson’s can be incredibly difficult and sometimes talking to someone about feelings isn’t easy.
Putting them down on paper in private is a good alternative outlet. Journaling has been proven to reduce anxiety, something which affects up to 40% of people with Parkinson’s so this gift really could help your loved one with their mental health.
Go The Extra Mile With Personalised Gifts
Parents and grandparents can be so difficult to buy for can’t they? They say they don’t want anything – but then you give them a sentimental gift that they treasure, and you know it’s a success! We love personalised presents – they’re unique gifts for the parents who have everything. Here’s our favourite personalised gifts.
Go back in time and let your parents find your family tree with FindMyPast. This ancestry website is fascinating, letting you go back through the generations and unlock your family’s history. This is a great activity for the elderly – it’s engaging, interesting and gives you all plenty to talk about! You can sign up to FindMyPast for one month or for a rolling 12-month subscription (or even try it for free for 14 days).
I personally know these are a great present, because I was given one myself (it had a photo of my gorgeous nephew on!). If your older parents use a computer and can’t see their grandchildren much, it’s a nice way to upgrade a fairly boring but necessary piece of household equipment. Great gift ideas for grandma and grandpa, it’s sure to make them smile.
Make elevenses fun with these personalized photo coasters.
Having just had a baby, these custom coasters are something I’ll be getting both sets of grandparents for Christmas! After all, what doting grandma or grandpa wouldn’t want to smile at their grandchild whilst having a morning cup of tea (and it’s a great chance for them to chat about their little love to their friends!).
I love printing photos but now we live in a digital age, how often do we actually do it? Give your parents something to smile about with this personalised wooden photo frame engraved with your own sweet message.
Use an online service to print three 6×4 photos (of you, your kids, the family all together…) and then order this frame. You can personalise it with a heartfelt message across three lines (one on the top, two on the bottom of the frame). A sentimental winner!
We hope you found our big list of gift ideas for older parents and grandparents useful. All these gifts can be sent easily if you’re not able to be with them. We hope you find something you and they will like. Happy gifting!