Ideal gifts for someone in hospital

What’s the ideal gift to bring someone who is in hospital? Hospitals can be very tedious places for patients and a visit from family or friends bearing a small gift can brighten anyone’s hospital stay. However many people struggle to think of an appropriate present. It’s best to keep in mind that some traditional gifts, like fresh flowers and food are forbidden in certain areas of hospitals. When shopping for a gift for a patient ideally choose an item that helps alleviate boredom and provides a little uplift to help fight depression.

It’s best to keep in mind that some traditional gifts, like fresh flowers and food are forbidden in certain areas of hospitals. When shopping for a gift for a patient ideally choose an item that helps alleviate boredom and provides a little uplift to help fight depression.

Flowers

Not everyone likes flowers, so it’s best to check with your friend first. If they do – ask them which flowers they like best. Some people dislike lilies associating them with death. Check with the ward sister that flowers are allowed. A delivery of flowers to a hospital room can provide a great thrill, like a burst of sunshine.

If your friend is in intensive care, or having chemotherapy it is likely that flowers will be banned. If the patient you are visiting suffers from a respiratory condition such as asthma, or has allergy problems flowers are also not suitable. An asthma attack can be triggered by the pollen from flowers, or even scent and candle fumes in sensitive people. However, you can bring brightly coloured paper flowers or silk blooms instead.

A Journal

Bringing a journal will surprise your loved one and encourage them to record their thoughts and feelings.

Nuts

Almonds are packed with natural goodness, a high source of fibre and a source of protein and magnesium which helps reduces tiredness and fatigue and boosts spirits. Almonds are a very versatile snack and can add some crunch to a boring day. Check that your friend doesn’t have a nut allergy and that the ward allows presents of food or drink. Your loved one’s diet may be restricted, particularly if they are suffering from problems such as diabetes, or high cholesterol.

Dark Chocolate

A bit of dark chocolate is good for both the body and the brain as flavonoids help improved blood flow to the brain and provide a bit of a lift.

A cashmere throw

Hospitals can be noisy and uncomfortable. If you are feeling generous add a bit of luxury to your loved one’s hospital stay by buying them a cashmere throw, shawl, or blanket to place on their bed or around their shoulders to protect them against draughts. Bedsocks, slippers, or a new set of pyjamas are other useful items.

Books and Music

If you know your friend’s taste in books, or music they are a thoughtful gift and help to pass the time and distract them from worrying about their illness. Check that your friend has a suitable device, like an MP3 player, to play the music. Many hospitals provide DVD players and televisions to entertain patients.

Short Letters and Cards

A thoughtfully-written short letter or get well card can provide an instant lift. It can be placed within eyesight of the patient providing comfort during long, boring hours in hospital.

Other useful small presents for patients in hospitals are bed eye masks, roll-on essential oils, healing crystals, cards, crossword puzzles and magazines.

Rebecca Wallersteiner

Rebecca Wallersteiner

Rebecca Wallersteiner is a health and arts journalist, who writes for The Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday, NetDoctor, Telegraph, The Times, Traveller and
The Oldie magazines. She also works for the NHS and is the Hippocratic Post's roving reporter.
Rebecca Wallersteiner

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