Gift Ideas for Grandparents

Wondering what to get the grandparents as a gift? PSP members share their ideas.

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Original poster:

“My Mom will be turning 80 soon.  She is not in good health, she has been suffering from Parkinson's for almost 20 years.  She is house ridden, really never goes out, doesn't walk around either. Any ideas for a birthday gift?”





"Framed family photo? Or a digital frame that you can load with family pictures that will change on their own (you can set it for how long each photo will stay on the screen)..."

"A slideshow of photos set to music (you can do this in iPhoto), or clips from videos or a mixture of the two. I made one in iPhoto that was a combo photos and video clips and exported it as a .mov file and it was a big hit. An extremely motivated person could get family members to record happy birthday messages on their phones and send them to you to include."

“Another thought... maybe something from the past? An old super 8 video downloaded to DVD? A photograph from childhood blown up to 8x10 so she can prominently display it in her home?”



"One other idea is to have people record Happy Birthday Messages to your mom, send them to you, and then you put them together in a longer video.  Or heck—just tell everyone to send them directly to her and save the extra work!"



"My daughter loves to make coupon books for my Mom and Grandmother, things she can do with them - an hour of reading together, board games together, breakfast in bed, a ladies lunch (I provide the funds to pay).  Mostly things that involve spending time together.  I have found as my parents, and grandmother, age, it's not always so much a 'gift' they desire as the gift of time together.  It gives the gift recipient something to look forward to as well."


Gather stories and memories:

““I also read this blog about a Jar of Joy with quotes. Easy to make. It's a jar with a daily quote. For my mother, I would throw in a lot of funny one's since laughter is the best medicine but you could customize according to your mother's personality. Here's the link to the ones you could buy so you can see the idea. But it would be nice to have different family members contribute their favorite ones.”

“A bunch of stories from kids, siblings, nieces and nephews with stories of what they love about your mom? Tears and appreciation guaranteed.”

“For my mother in law’s 60th birthday we came up with a list of 60 quick memories that we wrote on the back of an envelope in the car on the way to visit. She loved it so much she framed it. Memories (when you got us Chessie the dog), her favorite sayings (“why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free”), favorite events (“you camping in your white pants”), etc.  The sky is the limit!”


Books, magazine subscriptions, and other media services (e.g. Audible)

"Not sure how your Mom's reading is, but my 85 yr old mother loves her Kindle. She's had it for years and uses it every day. She also likes magazine subscriptions and gift bags with her favorite foods. (OK, maybe my Mom is easy.) The other thought I had was music. My friend's Dad had Parkinson's and after he wasn't able to read he liked listening to music, especially from his era. Happy birthday to your Mom!"

“My mom is 83 and while she's more mobile, she enjoys her Audible account on her iPad while she potters around the house. She also loves "the week" magazine (U.K. publication but there's one for NYC as well).”


Food and desserts:

 "A friend of mine has a mom who's turning 100 on May 6th! She mentioned how her mom's diet consists of mostly sugar because as we age, taste buds change/diminish, and she doesn't have an appetite for much, but can still enjoy sweets!  So how about a fancy box of chocolates? My dad has Parkinson's (just diagnosed recently) and it's made him depressed, and yes, I too have found that buying marzipan which reminds him of his childhood, always makes him smile."


Lotion and soaps:

“For my aging parents/grandfather, who all were raised poor/working class, they've gone their entire lives rarely "treating themselves" to anything considered "luxurious" (even though they're comfortably middle class and have been for the past 50 years). So even little things like a fancy bottle of hand soap, hand lotion, perfume, or piece of jewelry can be a big treat for them. (Always met by "why did you spend all this money on me?", but also appreciated and never returned.)”


A massage:

“My mom doesn't like massages, but my friend with the 99 year old mom also mentioned that her mom's aide gives her arm and leg massages with lotion 2x a week. Maybe she'd enjoy something like that if you can coordinate someone to come in and do it.”


And some more ideas for grandparent gifts from a 2020 thread:

"How about a nice, printed photo album featuring pics of the grandkid(s) from the past year or a cute flip book - thinking or"

"I’ve used 'Steve the Piano Man' at to send my wife and family singing telegrams over the phone- Steve writes little custom songs accompanied by canned keyboard riffs (think of the samba button on your Casio Keyboard from 1988) for special events and pick-me-ups. It isn't very expensive, I think there are packages from $15. The songs are a little cheesy but feel special because he includes personalized lyrics in the songs (you input the personalization: I was able to include some lyrics about taking my wife to Celine Dion in one song). He then will call the person up at a time you specify and perform the song for them over the phone or can be left on a Voicemail. He has a package that includes a email too."

"We just sent my husbands grandmother one of those picture frames that you can upload photos to through an app. And multiple family members can also send via the app. She seemed excited about the idea and we are waiting for her grandson down in Florida to help set it up!"

"We got these great digital frames from Nixplay for both my and my husband’s parents last year. Once set up on WiFi, they have their own address, so you can beam photos to them anytime. They then show an alert that new photos are waiting and they can choose to display one or cycle through them like a slideshow. It’s a little nicer than just receiving pictures by text and, when people can actually visit each other again, they can view the “framed” pictures at the grandparents’ houses. Our recipients loved them."

"Songwriting for Seniorsongwriting for Seniors! - zoom/online lessons to kids and adults of all ages."


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Homemade Gift Ideas