Christmas is around the corner and you might have begun to frantically search shelves to get a thoughtful gift for your loved one with Parkinson’s disease. Fret not; we are here to help. Whether or not this list includes something interesting for your loved one, there are many options you can explore. All you need is a good understanding of your loved one’s physical limitation(s) and what can be truly useful to him.
1. Electric toothbrush
Who knew that one day a task like brushing the teeth would be challenging for your loved one? As Parkinson’s progresses, it becomes more difficult to hang onto a toothbrush that can cause damage to the mouth if tremors suddenly become out of control while brushing. To ensure that he doesn’t tear his gums very often, gift him an electronic toothbrush.
2. Walkie Talkie
Parkinson’s often leaves an individual with soft speech, which can be tricky for others to understand. Gift your loved one a walkie-talkie so that his caregiver is able to hear him more easily when he needs help with things. This can be a gift for both people – the patient and the caregiver. Attaching extra batteries might not be a bad idea.
3. Terrycloth bathrobe
Another great gift is terrycloth bathrobe. Any bathrobe would be nice, but a terrycloth bathrobe would be more helpful as it is much like a bath towel. When your loved one showers, he can step out and immediately put on the robe. By the time he brushes his teeth, dries his hair, he will be dry and able to just get dressed. This will eliminate the hassle of trying to dry off.
4. Specialized Stationery
Many people with Parkinson’s who loves to write, sorely lose out when it comes time for sending (handwritten) notes any time of the year. Weighted pens (or pencils) are great gifts as they give more stability to a trembling hand.
Other great gift could be an ink stamp of your loved one’s signature. One of the first troubles a Parkinson’s fighter faces could be signing his name. Luckily, the stamp works perfectly on cheques and documents. Take a high resolution scan of the signature from before your loved one had the shaking.
5. Kitchen Assistive(s)
How about gifting an electric can opener for the person who loves to cook but has Parkinson’s. Alternatively, gift a stand mixer so that she doesn’t have to fight holding something that shakes her more. Lighter baking pans, an electronic wine bottle opener, knives with rubber/silicone gripping on the handle and soft gripping utensils (to make eating less embarrassing) could be other great gifts for a foodie.
6. Gardening tools
Is Parkinson’s fighter a gardener at heart who used to love gardening but now finds it harder to do so? Check out the ergonomic gardening tools that are available in the stores. Choose the one that feels good in the palm and won’t twist your loved one’s wrist awkwardly while gardening. Add some seeds, potting soil and light pots to complete the gardening kit.
7. Pet Therapy
If you ask a caring physician “What is the best way to exercise in Parkinson’s?” he may answer – get a dog. Gifting a dog will help your loved one walking regularly – one of the best things a Parkinson’s fighter can do. Guide/service dogs are proven to be reliable in aiding the Parkinson’s fighters from falling. Also, with this gift, you will rest easier knowing your loved one has someone watching out for him at all times.
8. E book Reader
There are times when an avid reader who is also a Parkinson’s fighter wants to sit down to read a book. However, he may be forced to push that idea aside as his fingers don’t want to hold a book (fine motor skills/movements are one of the hardest things for a person with Parkinson’s). A lightweight e-book ‘reader’ is an ingenious idea for Parkinson’s fighters.
Speaking of books, Audio Books are a great alternative to a reading tablet or bulky books. Most people have a CD player and there are many great audio books out there to choose from.
9. Experience Gifting
Many people with Parkinson’s don’t go out as they feel alone, forgotten and frightened. Looking forward to an outing once a month may be what their doctor recommended them. To ensure that they do it, get a massage scheduled for them. Massages are recommended for people with Parkinson’s to relieve the stiffness and loosen the tight, painful muscles.
Giving a gift certificate could also be a great treat. They could redeem the certificate at a nearby salon and indulge in hair wash, facial spa, manicure or pedicure.
This Blog is contributed by Dr. Deepak Kr. Nain. He is a certified therapist who specializes in the field of rehabilitation. Deepak possesses a clinical expertise in prescribing the best solutions to help people with neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, Stroke, Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS).