Do you have a loved one who has a chronic illness such as endometriosis, alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency, polycystic ovary syndrome, interstitial cystitis, or chronic pain?
Here are six things I recommend for people with chronic illness if you’re looking for gift ideas:
1. Heating pad: A heating pad is essential for someone who is suffering with any chronic illness that comes with chronic pain. Maybe they have a heating pad, but it’s not getting as hot as it once did. Maybe they would benefit more from having a heating pad you heat by microwave instead of plugging into the wall because the one they currently have, they have to remember to turn it off. Maybe they would benefit from having one with a timer so that it shuts off on its own. There are many different types of heating pads available on the market.
2. Heated or soft blanket: Heated blankets are like a heating pad for our entire body. Some people with chronic illness tend to run on the cold side and may love having a heated blanket to help them stay warm. There’s no such thing as too many blankets, especially if they are soft!
3. Coloring book, puzzles, books to read: These are activities we can do while lying in the bed. They don’t require physical exertion, which we tend to limit when we are in a lot of pain. These activities will help keep our mind occupied for a little while.
4. Bubble bath: Warm/hot baths can help us relax and what better way to do that than with some awesome bubble bath. Some fragrances can be soothing and promote relaxation. Our bodies are under a lot of stress and having some time to relax can be very beneficial to our overall well being. Please be careful of certain scents with loved ones who have respiratory illnesses or allergies.
5. Weekly medication dispenser (if they take several medications or supplements every day): It can be difficult for us to remember to take our medication every day. This is where a weekly medication dispenser comes in handy. We can put all of our daily medications in for the entire week and leave the dispenser somewhere that will remind us to take it every day.
6. Soft, loose fitting clothing (robe, socks, t-shirts, pajamas, etc.): There have been many days I haven’t put on jeans because they are tight and I didn’t want anything tight around my stomach due to the pain I was experiencing. Yoga pants, pajama pants, and t-shirts are what I live in most of the time.
I hope you find this gift guide helpful for your loved ones with chronic illness.
Picture from blog.givelively.org
Samantha Bowick, MPH is the author of "Living with Endometriosis: The Complete Guide to Risk Factors, Symptoms, and Treatment Options" and "Living with Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency" as well as a fellow sufferer of multiple chronic illnesses and patient advocate.