Gift Ideas For Older Parents (Updated)

Gift ideas for older parents

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!

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.

Want more gifting ideas? We’ve rounded up our selection of thoughtful hospital gifts, as well as written about the best gifts for stroke recovery.

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.

Amazon Echo Show (second generation)

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. Find out more about why we think the Echo Show is so good for the elderly here.

Amazon Echo Show

The Best Wireless TV Speaker For The Hard Of Hearing

We’ve written about the Sony Wireless TV Handy Speaker before – but we love it so much we can’t stop talking about it! This nifty gadget 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. You can read our full review here or click below to buy it. We’ve also written about other products for the hard of hearing in this article.

Sony Wireless TV Handy Speaker

DAB Bluetooth Radio

If your parents like listening to the radio and use Amazon Alexa devices (such as an Amazon Echo), then this wireless portable radio is a great gift. It looks like a traditional radio but does so much more effortlessly.

The Roberts iStream3 is a smart music speaker that allows easy access to thousands of radio stations and podcasts as well as streaming services.

DAB Bluetooth Radio

Gifts For Someone Who Is Always Cold

Some people feel the cold more don’t they? With some people still preferring to meet outside than inside, and with winter on the way, we’ve included a selection of cold weather clothing, accessories and smart gadgets – set to keep your elderly relatives warm in and outside.

Warm Winter Coat

This red puffa coat (also available in black) is stylish, warm and is easy to do up. The buttons are just for show – the coat actually fastens with velcro and popper fastenings, which is great for older people who have reduced hand dexterity. It’s by The Able Label, a brand which creates quality clothing for independent living.

Elderly Christmas gifts

Heated Waistcoat

A heated waistcoat or heated gilet can be a game-changer for staying warm outside. This one has a rechargeable battery that generates heat across your mid back and chest for up to ten hours of comfortable warmth.

Heated WaistcoatHeated Waistcoat

Reusable Hand Warmers

These chargeable hand warmers are a great gift idea to keep hands toasty warm even when the weather isn’t. They’re also a good gift for people with arthritis as they aid circulation and provide relief from aches and pains.

We like these USB reusable hand warmers from Amazon.

Reusable Hand WarmersReusable Hand Warmers

Heated Blanket

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 yet practical gift can be very well received! We like this fleecy grey blanket. It has ten different heat settings and a built in timer for added safety.

Heated Blanket

Flame Effect Heater

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!

Flame Effect Heater

Sheepskin Lined Slippers

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.

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!

Sheepskin slippers Cosy Feet elderly

Useful and practical gifts can sometimes be the best gifts of all. If you think your favourite older adult could benefit from more support when walking, look at our guides on walking aids and walking sticks.

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.

Easy Game To Play In The Armchair

Mancala is an ancient African game where players sow ‘seeds’ – I’ve got a soft spot for this as I was given one as a present years ago. 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

Easy Game To Play In The Armchair

Automatic Card Shuffler

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. 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!

Automatic Card Shuffler

Large Print Scrabble

Scrabble is so good to flex brain power! This classic game is available in large print (in conjunction with the RSPB) or original here.

Large Print Scrabble

Gifts For Mum

Stylish Wide Fit Shoes

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 – wide fitting, they have side or back zips which really open up so you can easily put them on. And unlike lots of other ‘adaptive shoes’, you’ll be proud to put your foot forward in them!

Friendly Shoes mint Voyage

Stylish Magnetic Jewellery

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.

Woman smiling wearing adjustable length necklace The Able Label
Elderly woman wearing magnetic fastening necklace

Silk Pillowcase

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 and wrinkles. 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.

Silk Pillowcase

The Indulgent Handbag

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.

Cambridge Satchel Company gift for mum

Active Gift Ideas

Elderly exercise is so important to strengthen the body and the mind. Here are some physiotherapist recommended exercise products for the older person in your life.

Extra Padded Exercise Mat

Great for pilates and yoga fans! An extra padded exercise mat will make it easier and more comfortable for your older loved one to do their floor exercises or get up and down from the floor.

Extra Padded Exercise Mat

Pickleball Paddle

Pickleball is great exercise for older adults. This paddle game 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. We love this set with pickleball balls.

Pickleball Paddle

Pedal Exerciser Bike

This seated pedal exerciser is a great way for your parent to increase their low-impact exercise. They can use it for their legs or arms (by placing it on a table), so can be used by people with limited mobility, as well as for stroke rehab recovery. 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.

Pedal Exerciser Bike

Nordic Walking Poles

Nordic walking is becoming ever more popular (plus it’s a great socially distanced exercise!). 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.

We like the ones below as a starter (they’re not too expensive and are best sellers).

Nordic Walking Poles

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.

Click here and be inspired by our article on the best calming and fun activities for people living with dementia. Or check out our favourite puzzles for dementia.

Dementia Friendly Gifts

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 ocean life 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.

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.

Arts and crafts for Dementia

Connect With A Hand Massage

The magic touch of a hand massage can help people living with dementia connect with their loved ones. With dementia in my family, I know how important this is and it’s why I love Senss Serenity Massage Serum. Specially crafted with natural and pure essential oils, it glides on easily over frail skin and is the perfect gift for someone with dementia.

Senss massage oil for dementia

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.

Radio For Dementia

This gift really does bring music to our ears. With the positive link between dementia and music well documented, Relish has done it again with their new accessible radio for dementia.

It can be personalised to suit someone’s musical tastes and can even play a playlist. The design does more than just look great. Colours have been chosen for visibility and ease of use, to minimise confusion and increase independence.  

Relish radio for dementia

DK Eyewitness Books

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.

DK Eyewitness Books

Christmas Gifts For Gardeners

We’ve all come to rely on our gardens even more this year, 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.

Best Garden Secateurs

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!

Best Garden SecateursBest Garden Secateurs

Raised Garden Beds

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.

Raised Garden Beds

Indoor Kitchen Herb Garden

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.

Indoor Kitchen Herb Garden

Gifts That Help The Environment

With sustainability more important than ever, here are the best green Christmas gifts for grandparents.

Bat Boxes

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.

Bat BoxesBat Boxes

Thermos Coffee Mug

My husband’s parents love walking and always take an insulated cup (or thermos) out with them. The reviews on this travel mug are too good to ignore – 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. 

Thermos Coffee Mug

Beeswax Wraps

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.

Beeswax Wraps

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.

Digital Photo Frame

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 options 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.

Digital Photo FrameDigital Photo Frame

Easy On Shoes

 

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.

Friendly Force grey shoes

Pillow Mist

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.

Pillow MistPillow Mist

Weighted Blanket

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.

Weighted BlanketWeighted Blanket

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.

Stylish Adaptive Clothes

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!

Adapted shirt for men
The checked James shirt is made from soft brushed cotton and comes with touch close fastenings and buttons for show. Find it here.
Stylish easy on wrap for women
The luxury Lori wrap adds a pop of colour. With no arm holes, it’s easy on and the squared off shape at the neck helps to keep it securely on the shoulders. Find it here.

Weighted Pen

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. Helping with accurate and fluid writing.

Weighted Pen

Journal

This gift can work alongside the weighted pen. Daily journalling (writing in a journal) can help to relieve anxiety. Encourage your loved one to write down their thoughts in this one.

Writing JournalWriting Journal

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.

Trace The Family Tree

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).

Personalised Mouse Mat

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.

Personalised Mouse MatPersonalised Mouse Mat

Personalised Photo Coasters

Make elevenses fun with these personalized photo coasters. There are glass, slate and wooden options available – but we really like these custom coasters!

Personalised Photo CoastersPersonalised Photo Coasters

Personalised Photo Frame

Pick three of your favourite family photos and send them in this personalised wooden photo frame engraved with your own sweet message.

Personalised Photo FramePersonalised Photo Frame

Conclusion

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 (more important this year than ever before). We hope you find something you and they will like. Happy gifting!

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