With the holiday season right around the corner, you might be interested in starting your holiday shopping soon! You may also have a loved one who manages a chronic illness (or multiple). If you are looking for a way to help your friend or loved one, look no further! Our Chronically Smart Ambassadors got together to develop a list of patient-friendly gifts.
Warm & Fuzzy
Heat therapy can be a wonderful way for many different patients to relieve pain, especially as temperatures drop! You can stick with a typical heating pad, or opt for a larger heating blanket. For those that deal with hand pain, thermal gloves or hand warmers are a great option to combat the cold. Reusable hand warmers are a great options for those who are on the go and need them frequently while out of the house!
Comfort is always key when a patient is experiencing a flare with their illness. When you can combine comfort with fashion, though, you’ve got a great gift! Accessible clothing is always wonderful, particularly for those that use medical equipment such as a port. Brands like Abilitee or Liberare.co offer comfortable and fashionable clothing items and even lingerie! Footwear with traction such a non-slip socks or slippers are essential around the house and in the hospital. Around the holiday season is the perfect time to gift these items as they are plentiful in stores.
If you’re wanting to help a patient with their illness but aren’t sure how, take a look at their health needs and see what your loved one is in need of. Do they need a pill organizer to help them stay on top of their oral medications? Are they struggling to take their injectable medications? The Smart Sharps Bin along with its companion app is a great tool to help them manage their injections!
Patients find many ways to go about their daily activities but when items are made specifically for their needs, it can make such a difference. Easy-to-grip water bottles or double-handled mugs can be a wonderful option for those that struggle with dexterity. Book or phone stands can be useful for those who may find it difficult holding these items up to use. Eye masks for sleeping or white noise machines can assist in creating a peaceful environment for when sleep is a struggle.
Pain can be a common experience for those managing a chronic illness, and while they should seek assistance from their care team for severe pain, there are some items you may be able to provide to distract from it. Fidget toys are a wonderful way to focus attention elsewhere for a bit. A good book can also provide distraction for a period of time, such as “The Happiness Trap” by Russ Harris.
Sometimes the non-material gifts are the best option because they provide a long-lasting memory both of you can cherish together. Plan an activity that your loved one can participate in. This might be an art class, a photoshoot, or anything they have shown interest in! Providing respect towards their illness can also be a huge gift in itself. Not every patient will want to engage a conversation about their illness, and providing a safe environment to not focus on it can be a very positive thing. Other patients may want to share their illness to you, and lending a listening ear can be very therapeutic!