I was just asked yesterday what one of my friends could do for her uncle who is having a similar surgery to mine. I had a difficult time coming up with things, because I didn’t receive much while I was in the hospital. I thought this was a great post idea, so here are some ideas for good gift ideas for sick friends and relatives.
While I was in the hospital, I got exactly one bouquet of flowers from a friend allllll the way in Alaska. I was so appreciative for that small token that let me know she was thinking of me. Other than that, my husband visited, and one friend who lived nearby. So, this list will mostly be comprised of things I wish I’d gotten :D.
- Flowers. Yes, I did get one bouquet, but it’s great to have something pretty to look at when your day consists of different shades of blues and greens (doctors and nurses).
- Balloons. This ties in with the flowers. It’s great to get something to look at, even if it won’t last long.
- Books. Audio, digital, or physical doesn’t matter. Watching the same stupid stuff on TV is boring. Having a good book to read or listen to makes the time move a bit faster.
- Blankets/Pillows. Sounds silly, but asking for your millionth “warm” blanket that’s cold in 2 minutes gets tiresome, and the nurses start to look at you like you’re hoarding all of the blankets, and hospitals are freaking cold! Also, the pillows at the hospitals are god-awful. This is an especially good idea for chemo/cancer patients.
- Puzzles, Coloring Books, Colored Pencils/Pens, etc. Busy work makes the day go by so much faster. Plus, it’s fun to create while you’re stuck on the same floor looking at the same stuff day after day.
- Lunch Bags/Water Bottles. This is more of a good gift for someone who is in and out of the hospital often, like a chemo patient. They have to bring their lunches/drinks because their infusion days are usually 4-8 hours of sitting in a chair.
- Stuffed Animals. Great gifts for kids! Giving them something to cuddle with during IV’s, shots, and the like is always helpful. Some adults may appreciate this, too.
- Joke/Gag Gifts. For someone like me, who had an ileostomy surgery, a great gift would be a plushie of a Poo emoji, or a colon plushie… I’ve even told my surgeon that I’m expecting one of those after my surgery left on my pillow… I think it’s hilarious, but not everyone shares my humor, so make sure they’ll appreciate it.
- Coffees/Teas/Hot Chocolates. This gift is for patients who aren’t NPO (no food/water). You can get a cup of hot water for anything you have. They have teas and things there, but they’re basic, so flavored things are always nice to have. Make sure they’re allowed to have food before bringing this gift!
- Toiletries. Smell good things like shampoos, body washes, soaps, lotions, etc are a good gift when stuck in the hospital. Everything there smells very chemically and just not good. Just having nice smelling hair can change your entire attitude.
- Gift Cards. If the hospital that your patient is in is big enough, sometimes they have shops inside like Starbucks, restaurants, Tim Horton’s, etc. Hospital food is bland at best, and having the ability to purchase good tasting food is great! Even a tube of quarters for vending would be good!
- Gift Bags/Baskets. You can combine any number of these gift ideas in one basket. Snacks, drinks, toiletries, gift cards, anything that you can think of! It’s pretty, and useful!
- Your time… This is the most important, in my eyes (IF you live within driving distance to where they’re located). I only had a few visits in my long hospital stays. My husband came at least once a week (I was over an hour from home), and one friend that lived close came a few times, but no other family came, nor any other friends. Being in the hospital is really lonely, and when the other rooms are full of visitors, it’s a little depressing.
Any of these things make amazing gifts, and I’m sure you can come up with some great gift ideas. At the end of the day, anything works, and lets them know that you’re thinking about them, which is awesome!