Gift Ideas to Help With Activities of Daily Living

December 11, 2023 By mysistermademebuyit
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This gift guide is full of gift ideas for those senior loved ones (or anyone else) in our lives who need help with activities of daily living (ADLs). ADLs are something I learned about when caring for my dad, but had heard of them before because of my Masters in Healthcare Administration. ADLs are essential and routine tasks that most healthy individuals can perform without assistance1. These activities include:

  • Ambulating: The extent of an individual’s ability to move from one position to another and walk independently.
  • Feeding: The ability of a person to feed oneself.
  • Dressing: The ability to select appropriate clothes and to put the clothes on.
  • Personal hygiene: The ability to bathe and groom oneself and maintain dental hygiene, nail, and hair care.
  • Continence: The ability to control bladder and bowel function
  • Toileting: The ability to get to and from the toilet, use it appropriately, and clean oneself.

As primary caregivers for our dad for 2 years before he passed, we learned through trial and error the products we needed to make life easier for him and us. He had every type of therapist and we learned a lot along the way.

At the end of my dad’s life he had mobility disability, vascular dementia, and an autoimmune issue where he could not use or grip his hands. A lot of the products we are recommending below are products that he used, and some were recommended by My Sister Made Me Buy It Instagram followers for arthritis/pain relief, dialysis care, aging complications, and memory care.

While I am not going to cover all of these ADLs in these gift guides, I will be covering some of the ones that we found useful when caring for my dad.

You can find our other gift guides, including other senior specific guides here.

Gift Ideas to Help With Activities of Daily Living

Feeding Gifts

  1. Under cabinet jar opener
  2. Multi-use can or bottle opener
  3. Weighted silverware – good for those with hand tremors
  4. Adaptive utensils for weak grip – Because of my dad’s hands issues, this is what he bought himself to use for feeding. It helped him so much as eating was one of his favorite pastimes.


  1. Car Cane – You just hook into the door latch and it becomes a grip for getting in or out of the car. It also works as a car emergency tool because it can cut seatbelts and break windows. I have even seen people use it to step on to easily reach the top of their car.
  2. Swivel Seat – This is a seat that rotates. Especially helpful for getting in and out of the car.
  3. Lift Assist – We did not have this for my dad, but man I wish we did. Honestly, I wish I had this after my c-section. It is some railing that just slides under the seat you are sitting in so that you have some leverage when trying to get up.


  1. Button hook and zipper pull helper
  2. Sock aide – Would have loved to have this at the end of pregnancy and after c-section as well.
  3. No tie shoe laces – There are a lot of no tie shoe laces out there, but I like that these have a little slide to adjust tightness.


  1. Door Grip – Just place over the handle of the door and it makes it easier to turn and open.
  2. Big grip pen – a pen for anyone with arthritis or weak hand grip.
  3. Key Grips – add these to keys to make them easier to turn
  4. Reacher – I feel like every house should have one of these
  5. Playing card holder – One of the things that got us through my mom’s ICU stay was playing cards in the waiting room. It is also where we found out my dad was really good at playing Euchre. After my mom passed, we held game nights with him and his siblings every few months and played different games. It was really fun. One of my favorite memories was when my dad pouted because he had to be my Euchre partner because I am TERRIBLE at Euchre. But still think I am good.
  6. Large print playing cards – Honestly, I might need these too.
  1. Edemekong PF, Bomgaars DL, Sukumaran S, et al. Activities of Daily Living. [Updated 2023 Jun 26]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan-. Available from:↩︎ ↩︎