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Gift Ideas for Loved Ones with Chronic Illness

I’ve always been asked what’s a good gift, as well as advice for gifts when a loved one enters the hospital or is going through new treatments that are time consuming.

I’ve compiled a short list to hopefully help out friends and family during those times that will hopefully give some insight as to what they may like or need in the hospital or recovering at home.

Helpful gift ideas for someone with chronic illness

Heated blanket

If your loved one lives with an autoimmune disease, like Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis, ALL of our joints hurt. heating pads are great – but there are some really nice heating blankets on the market.


We love to get mail! also, we love to send it! stamps, blank cards. Stickers or fun pens and pencils that are easy to grip & have some type of support such as a build-up (especially for those who have issues with Arthritis or Arthralgia).

My personal favorites are the Pilot G2 Gel pen, or the Pilot Dr. Grip Center of Gravity

Gift cards

A favorite of mine is hands down Amazon.com gift cards. I can get the supplies that I need & also order groceries and personal care items for myself.

If you choose to go the gift card route, make sure to find appropriate gift cards to places that you know they can use: the grocery store, a local retail center, a Peapod gift certificate for someone recovering from surgery so they can order what they need & have it be delivered to them at any time of the day.

Amazon Prime Pantry

This can be a great option to gift groceries to as well. It’s convenient, it’s inexpensive and patients with restricted diets can almost always find something that fits their needs and also their palate.

Whatever gift cards you choose to gift, make sure that a store is either located near them or if they have access to order online.

Calendars & Planners

My planner is full of appointments, unrelated to work. With having so many doctors and people on my care team, it may be nice to consider asking if they would benefit from some type of organizational tools like a planner or a nice big whiteboard with the months laid out & erasable markers to change appointment times, as they often do. I suggest you check out ErinCondren.com – (this is on my Christmas list each year!)

Pool Membership

Warm water aquatic therapy is a GREAT thing for managing anything joint & muscle related. Exercise is so important in chronic illness to keep moving or recovery will be even harder.

Maybe the gym isn’t their thing & they prefer working out on their own, or like a specific yoga class at a local facility. Ask what they like to do or can handle, and consider gifting a couple of classes.


Perhaps the loved one you know enjoys oils and light scents. Consider gifting a diffuser for bath time or bedtime...or any time! But be careful of the scents that you pick for the person, sometimes certain scents can bother people, so be sure to ask what their oil preferences are. Also, if you’re considering perfume or cologne, ensure they use it first.


Scarves are always in fashion, for men or women; they’re warm, comfortable & anyone with autoimmune disease will tell you their body temperature rises. And for some who are anemic, or require blood transfusions, we are always extremely hot or extreme cold from 0-10.

I am ALWAYS cold. If you see my wearing short sleeves, it's pretty uncommon. I wear scarves every month of the year. It’s just another comfort item I love to keep on that provides me with extra warmth, especially in doctors' offices that are on the colder side.

iTunes/Google Play gift cards

Everyone’s recovery is different, but something to pass the time by is listening to music, podcasts, and renting movies to watch. It makes the hospital TV a little more exciting to watch and that little piece of happy can provide a whole lot of comfort in a hospital bed away from home.

Video Games

Is your loved one into video games? Maybe you can’t play together, but with the technology we have now, whether that person is at home or in the hospital, their console unit can connect to yours and through headsets, it’s just like you’re hanging out together!


Maybe that person has been struggling with mobility and is having a hard time keeping things tidy. If you’re comfortable asking, see if they'd like a cleaning service or help around the house. It’s worth a shot and the sentiment speaks volumes to the person you’re helping!


Does your loved one have a child or even a pet? Perhaps offer to come over, let that person rest and take the dog or child for a stroller walk. If not done properly, recovery can last a lot longer than anyone wants it to.

It’s important to remember that visit times should be limited, but taking their son or daughter for an ice cream cone or getting them out of the house so that person can rest is a big deal.

Amazon Wishlist

I always suggest this to people who tell me they’ve been asked what a good gift for their recovery would be. My advice is ask that person to place items on an Amazon Wishlist so people interested in helping that person can get them what they need, nothing more, nothing less.

People want to help, and in the past when I have done this, it’s been very helpful for people who want to just give what they can. It’s a great way to put personal care items, as well as groceries and comfort items on a list for people to get that will arrive in a short period of time, especially if you’re an Amazon Prime member.

What types of gifts or offerings would you suggest to someone going through a flare, recovering from surgery or is currently in-patient?

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