As we head into the holiday season, it can be a struggle to know just what to get those you care about. Finding gift ideas for those with chronic illness can especially be a struggle. Below are 21 gift ideas specifically for those living with chronic illness.
- Coupon Book
Coupon books are excellent gifts as long as you follow through. They are personal and can allow you to gift your loved one the things they really need from you, whether it be help with meals, or just quality social interaction.
One idea to include in your book would be a coupon to “get out of a previously made social commitment without guilt”. We hate canceling plans and being unreliable, so knowing that you understand and will forgive those infractions goes a long way. Another would be to include coupons for house cleaning, meal prepping, or even a ride to an appointment.
Even if you normally help you loved one in these ways, a coupon book like this can help your loved one feel better about asking for your help, without guilt.
- Soothing Teas
A nice cup of warm herbal tea can help soothe so many ills. Whether it’s simply the need to warm up on a cold night, or something to help calm an anxious body, or relax before bedtime. There are even great Tumeric-based teas that can help reduce inflammation and pain.
Consider putting together a nice basket for your friend, including a few of their favorite teas, and a nice mug they can enjoy them in. Every time they make a cup, they’ll think of you.
- Bath Essentials
A warm bath with Epsom salts can do a lot to help you relax and ease pain. Consider putting together a nice basket of bath essentials to help your loved one create the perfect bath without the effort.
Village Naturals makes a great line of products including scented essential oil-infused Epsom salts, bath oils, and lotions that you can mix and match to relieve a variety of aches and pains.
- Poo Pourri
Poo Pourri may seem like a gimmicky product, but for those of us who live with IBS, the worry of creating a stink that others have to endure is real. Poo Pouri is a great little product we can keep on-hand and even carry with us on the go to help reduce the stink and the stress of IBS issues.
- Cute pill cases
If you have chronic illness(es) you are taking pills, there’s no way around it. Whether it’s pharmaceutical or supplement. Having a way to organize and take your pills that isn’t clunky and ugly is a plus. A cute pill case or attractive pill organizer would make a great gift for someone with chornic illness because they would make life a little easier and a little less ugly at the same time. Those basic clear plastic organizers are for the birds. Check out these cute pill cases and organizers from Amazon.com.
- Refillable water bottle
Hydration is a major issue with many chronic illnesses and staying hydrated is much easier when you can keep water on hand. A refillable water bottle not only makes it easy to stay hydrated, but it’s better for the planet than buying bottles of water.
While we are on the topic of water, you can also give the gift of better water. Having a refillable water bottle doesn’t do much good if the water you are drinking is (or just tastes) terrible. A filtered water pitcher can help ensure that the water your loved one is drinking isn’t full of toxins.
If they prefer Alkaline water, take a look at the filters from PhWatr that not only filter the water but increase the alkalinity (and fit in a standard filter pitcher).
- Heated Throw
It can be a struggle to stay warm in the winter, when you live with chronic illness. Sometimes a regular blanket or throw just isn’t enough. A heated blanket might be just what your loved one needs. They come in all sizes from a small throw they can cuddle up under on the couch, to blankets to fit in bed.
They even make heated throws that can plug into the lighter port in your car.
- Squatty Potty
I take poop seriously. Which is why the Squatty Potty is the second toilet item I’m including in this list. If you have a loved one who lives with IBS or IBD, I’d suggest just gifting them all three items I’ve included in this list.
The Squatty Potty helps put you in the ideal position for bowel relief (or release?). It’s especially helpful when you are dealing with the taller handicap accessible toilets and struggle to even touch the floor.
- Luxe Bidet
The third item on the list for those with IBS/IBD (or really anyone who likes a clean tushy). My Luxe Bidet is high on the list of things I miss most when I’m away from home, and is one of the first things I install on any new toilet I use regularly.
- Body Pillow
Many with chronic illnesses find a body pillow helpful in keeping their position during sleep. A C-shape pillow (commonly a pregnancy pillow) can be even more helpful as it fully wraps around your body providing full support.
- Lap desk
Sitting at a desk can be difficult, if not painful, when you have chronic illness. But sometimes you just need that flat surface. Whether it’s to support a laptop, to draw, or to do anything for which you might use a table or desk. A lapdesk allows you to sit in your favorite comfortable chair while still being productive.
The Pillsuite is amazing for those who need to be able to take their medications on the go. Whether, they travel or just want to easily be able to grab their meds and go to a doctor’s appointment, or the other side of the house.
- Mantra Bands
Want to keep your loved one inspired? Mantra Bands are great little bracelets to help you do just that. They also have mugs, t-shirts, stickers, and even rings to help you keep positives thoughts at front of mind.
- Hot/Cold wraps
Depending on whether your loved one lives with pain or inflammation (or both) they may benefit from hot or cold wraps. My preference is wraps that can work either way. I love the RelaxWraps, as they come in a variety of sizes and shapes to help with headaches, shoulder and neck pain, back pain, or any other pain.
Whether or not your loved one is a reader; a book could still be a great gift. The Patient’s Playbook by Leslie Michelson is a good read for anyone, but especially for those living with chronic illness. It’s a guide to help you learn to advocate for yourself, find the right doctors to help you, and make sure you get the care you need.
Another book, that I’d highly recommend to anyone, and especially those with chronic illness, is The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer. When we live with chronic illness, we need help, but it’s often a struggle just to ask for the help we need. The Art of Asking is about just that… the ability to ask others for help and why we should.
Check out my reading list for more book suggestions.
- Tote bags
Every Spoonie (that’s a person with chronic illness) needs a self-care bag, a bag to keep filled and ready with all the items they may need whether having a rough day at home, or heading out to an appointment. And, a self-care bag (by definition) requires a bag. This “not today” bag perfectly describes how we feel on a bad day.
- Tens Unit
TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) is a portable way to reduce pain. TENS works by sending tiny electrical currents into the nerves. Those signals block the pain signals that would otherwise by sent to the brain. TENS used to be expensive and require a doctor’s order, but now it’s fairly cheap (with units starting at under $30).
- Weighted blanket
Studies have shown that weighted blankets can help reduce anxiety and improve sleep. If your loved one struggles with these issues, consider buying them a weighted blanket. A few years ago you just about had to have a weighted blanket custom made. You can still do that and get just the fabric and weight you want, but you can also find a wide variety of weighted blankets on Amazon. You may even find them at local stores including Walmart and Khols.
Whether your loved one enjoys reading or just enjoys watching their favorite show to pass the time, a Kindle Fire may be a great gift. Kindle Fire is an affordable tablet that allows you to read your favorite books, as well as access all your favorite apps, including Hulu and Netflix.
- Ice Towel
An Ice Towel or Headache Halo from Koldtec is the perfect gift for someone who lives with Migraine, or anyone who has issues with over-heating. Many of us find that a cold compress on our head helps with the symptoms of Migraine and the Headache Halo is perfect for that.
- Oska Pulse
Oska Pulse is the ultimate in pain relief devices. Using PEMF (Pulse Electro-Magnetic Frequency), Oska Pulse can actually help heal the cause of the pain, by reducing inflammation and improving blood flow to the affected area.
PEMF has been studied for years, but until Oska, the devices were large, cumbersome, and unaffordable. Oska Pulse is my go-to for pain relief and was the only thing that finally removed pain in my shoulder that doctor’s had been unable to solve.