Our Top 20 useful gifts for grandmas

Our Top 20 useful gifts for grandmas

It’s nice, but will your grandma actually use it? Grandmothers are (generally) very grateful recipients of gifts, but by now they may have enough dust collectors.

Finding useful gift ideas and gifts for grandmothers can be challenging, however, spending a little extra time finding gifts that our grandmas will use is a lovely reminder that we’ve considered their individual situation and needs.

At The Independence Shop, we find a lot of people don’t even know what useful products exist – and they continue to struggle with everyday tasks that leave them feel less independent and less confident in their daily living.

At The Independence Shop we help everyone stay active and independent by bringing daily living aids, practical products and useful gifts to the one Australian shop.


As many people are choosing to live at home as long as possible and there are many positives to doing so (Victorian Government Department of Health, 2023), our older loved ones can benefit from products and aids that help them maintain their independence longer.

At The Independence Shop, we carefully consider and select top-rated and highly recommended products for our customers. Here's our pick of our Top 20 Useful Gifts for Grandma, so let's get you thinking if they might suit!

Our Top 20 Useful Gifts for Grandma

Gifts for independence around the home
Gifts that help grandmas get out and about
Gifts for personal hygiene
Gifts to keep the mind active
Help in the kitchen, with eating and drinking
Gifts for grandmas with arthritis
BONUS Gift Idea!

 

 

Useful gifts for independence in and around the home

elderly woman using neck light for reading

1. Neck light

A lovely gift to help when reading, doing puzzles, knitting, repairs and other tasks that need a little bit more light on the situation. A neck light can help grandmothers see and enjoy what they are doing with less strain.

TIP: when looking for a neck light, one which has warm/natural/cool light and dimmable light options offers a greater flexibility for different tasks and individual preference.

2. Garden seat and kneeler

For our grandmothers with a green thumb! A garden seat and kneeler is both a garden stool to sit on and a padded kneeler. When flipped to the kneeler, the legs become handles to help our grandmothers get down, and of course, up again!

TIP: when considering a garden seat and kneeler, choose a sturdy, deeper stool to prevent tipping or falling backwards when seated. They're not for standing on.

garden seat and kneeler with pouch on grass
reminder sign - have you locked up?

3. Reminder signs

Little friendly reminders are great "stocking fillers" and can be selected based on your grandmother's needs. Reminders such "hearing aids" or "turn water off" are examples of the reminder signs that we have available at The Independence Shop. These days, a little reminder to lock up helps with security when grandmas are still living independently.

4. Night sensor lights

Add a little bit of safety from falls and collisions at night with a few night sensor lights around the home. Night sensor lights can be placed on stairs, in the bathroom, on bed frames and anywhere else that would support visibility at night. They save getting to and turning on bright lights, and having to adapt to the dark when they're turned off again.

TIP: a good sensor night light should last at least a month before needing a recharge. One with an adhesive metal and magnetic backing makes them easy to remove, pop on charge, and replace.

sensor night lights

 

Gifts that help grandmas get out and about

Staying connected to family, friends, social groups and the community are an important part to keeping healthy and staying independent.

 

5. Extendable extra long travel shoe horn

The perfect gift for an active grandma, particularly one who loves to travel or needs to change shoes for various activities such as dancing, bowling, yoga and general sports. An extendable shoe horn can be packed in a bag and extended to change shoes without unnecessary bending or struggling in front of others. Of course, this is also a great gift for use in the home.

TIP: When choosing an extendable shoe horn, it's important that it is long enough to be used from the standing position. One that can be adjusted to several lengths is most convenient. Ideally, choose a shoe horn that does not have a plastic tongue that can break with pressure.

person using long extendable shoe horn
A person using a car seatbelt reacher

6. Seatbelt reacher

Save grandma from awkwardly trying to twist around and grab their seatbelt. A seatbelt reacher is a handy gift that lets her know that you’ve thought about her when she’s out and about or travelling with you.

TIP: When choosing a seatbelt reacher, try to find one that is removable and attachable to different seatbelts and vehicles. A seatbelt reacher that has a flexible rubber material is important for comfort as the seatbelt reacher does sit across the torso when buckled in.

7. Car transfer handle

Continuing on from the seatbelt reacher, comes the comes the car Handybar! A Handybar fits into the door latch and provides a steady and reliable handle to leverage up and out of a vehicle. Make getting in and out of the car just that little easier for grandma with a Handybar.

TIP: Be aware when purchasing a Handybar, that they are quite large. Although often impressive what grandmas can store in their handbags, they're not really suitable for a handbag, and likely will need to be stored in the glove box or side of the car door.

Person using handbar as support to get out of car
travel bed rail attached to bed

8. Travel bed rail

If your grandma needs some support in her bed at home to prevent falls and to assist her getting out of bed, then keeping a travel bed rail at your home can make her feel welcome to stay. A bed rail that is designed to fold up when not in use is something that can come out when she visits. If you have a grandmother that loves to travel, then this is also a perfect gift to accompany her and can fold away in a suitcase.

TIP: As with all bed rails, a minimum mattress height is required to ensure the stability of travel bed rails, and it's not going to be suitable for an extra soft mattress. Consider maximum user weight and quality of this type of support aid.

 

 

Help with personal hygiene

9. Long handled hair brush

Perfect for grandmas find it difficult to reach with a normal brush to independently brush and dry their hair. A long handled hair brush can avoid discomfort and undue stress on the hands, arm, neck and shoulders.

TIP: poor quality hair brushes tend to pull away from the brush itself, so if your grandma has a fair amount of hair, or curly hair, be sure to find a high quality brush. A good grip and tilt towards the head would also help.

long handled hair brush on bath board
grab rail in bathroom

10. Adhesive bathroom grab rail

Prevent falls in slippery areas in the bathroom or add some support when sitting down to toilet with a grab rail for grandma.

TIP: we don't recommend suction cap grab rails from a safety perspective; and grab rails that need drilling into tiles are generally not well received nor easy to deal with. Thus, an adhesive grab rail is a good option. As this is a safety item, finding a reputable brand with the appropriate weight recommendations is very important here.

11. Pedicure stools and shower stools

A shower and pedicure stool can help bring the feet to a reachable level for washing, foot and nail care.

TIP: it is important to consider your grandma's mobility here. A foot stool that can slide away in the shower is not a safe choice.

shower foot rest
sensitive body wash and body balm

12. Sensitive skin body wash

As we become older, or skin becomes thinner, fragile, and sensitive to strong detergents, additives and fragrances in skincare products. Finding a nice body wash and skincare products suitable to keep skin hydrated reduces discomfort and supports healing.

TIP: avoid bath oils as these can cause one to slip and fall

 

 

Gifts to keep the mind active

13. Memory game

This is a lovely way to keep the mind active independently or with the family. Extending the typical memory game of flipping and matching pairs of cards to illustrated memory games is a beautiful and engaging touch.

memory game aussie animals laid out on table
brain training puzzles book on table with thick pens and reading light

14. Puzzle books

Puzzle books such as Sudoku, Wordsearches, Crosswords, puzzles, 3D puzzles and puzzle books keep the mind stimulated.

TIP: consider large print puzzle books where needed. Puzzle books that move up in levels can be a great way to get grandma started when unfamiliar.

 

 

Help in the kitchen and with eating and drinking

15. Angled knife

As we age, gripping thin metal cutlery can become challenging and uncomfortable. An angled knife with a thick handle can be used in food preparation or when tucking into food that requires cutting. An angled knife can support our grandmothers to be independent in the home, while eating, and prevent injury.

TIP: for convenience, consider an angled knife that is dishwasher safe.

angled knife next to fork and spoon
electric salt and pepper grinders

16. Electric salt and pepper grinders

Gripping and twisting becomes increasingly difficult as we age, so an electric salt and pepper grinder becomes more relevant and can be a useful, welcomed gift.

TIP: choose a salt and pepper grinder with a larger button that is easy to press with one hand, one which lights up to show the amount of ground salt or pepper, and one which is easy to refill for mature hands.

 

 

Gifts for grandmas with arthritis

 thick pens lined up

17. Thick pens and arthritis pens

Writing can become an onerous task for grandmothers as they age or if they develop arthritis. A thicker pen or ergonomically designed arthritis pen places less strain on the fingers while writing and require less grip strength. A nice extra gift to accompany a puzzle book. 

18. Thick handled nail clippers

Wrapping mature or arthritic hands around a typical nail clipper gets increasingly more difficult as we age. Our grandmothers will find their toenails and fingernails also thickening as they age, making nail care challenging. A thick handled nail clipper can help to support nail care.

thick handled nail clipper on bath board
person using universal turner to open petrol cap

19. Universal turner

This is a super handy gadget for grandmas with arthritis both in the home and when filling up the car. If your grandmother finds grasping and turning taps, handles and petrol caps challenging, a universal turner can mould around an object and the whole hand can do the turning action.

TIP: Whilst a universal turner can mould around an object with its many spring-loaded prongs, this is not suitable for perfectly round handles and taps.

20. Button aids and zipper pulls

A handy little tool for a grandmother's arthritic hands that struggle to do up zippers and pull buttons through. Zipper pullers are sometimes found on the ends of button aids (alike the one pictured) or as a separate attachment that you can pull through a zip, much like one you would find on a hiking bag.

hand holding button aid and zipper puller

 

 

BONUS gift idea!

iTag locator

Ok, so this one is more for us. There is comfort in knowing where our grandparents and older parents are, that they’re following their usual scheduled routine. An item locator that syncs to a phone can help us check up on our loved ones. Of course, with their permission.

locator attached to brown leather handbag

 

We hope you've enjoyed our Top 20 Useful Gifts for Grandma post, and that it's got you thinking about how you can support her individual needs. Of course, these may be one of may gifts that your Grandma will love, our focus here is on useful, practical gifts to support our older loved ones to stay active and independent.

The Independence Shop - a meaningful way to help our loved ones stay active and independent. Find all daily living aids, practical products, and useful gifts in one Australian shop!

The Independence Shop logo with bird

 TheIndependenceShop.com.au

References:

Department of Health, State Government of Victoria, Australia (2015). Living at home as you get older. Aged Care Services.

Walston JD (2020). Common clinical sequelae of aging. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 22.

Tobin DJ, Veysey EC, Finlay AY (2017). Aging and the skin. In: Fillit HM, Rockwood K, Young J, eds. Brocklehurst's Textbook of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2017:chap 25.