Health Lifestyle

Gift Guide: Gift Ideas for Chronically Ill People

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Friends, I love pulling together gift ideas for chronically ill people every year because there are so many levels to being chronically ill that most people don’t realize. I’m going to get into what I mean by that in the particular categories of this post, but suffice it to say that the chronically ill life is difficult. And it’s expensive! So expensive. Which is why gift-giving holidays can be so helpful for us. That being said, let’s get into this gift guide.

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All Gift Guides | All 2019 Gift Guides

Boston lifestyle blogger and chronic illness patient Kate the (Almost) Great shares great gift ideas for chronically ill people. There are useful gifts, gifts they need, gifts to keep them entertained, and more.

Gift Ideas for Chronically Ill People:
Useful Gifts

Having a chronic illness can be expensive. Not only do we have to buy medicine and go to appointments, but there are also other things out there that can make our lives easier. Unfortunately, insurance doesn’t cover those things, which is why giving them as gifts can be so appreciated. I’ve provided a variety of useful gift ideas here, but please note that they will only be useful for people depending on what their symptoms are. So if someone has symptoms that make they constantly cold, giving them a portable fan won’t be helpful!

2018 gift guide for chronic illness patients

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Mini Handheld Fan | UGG® Leda Cozy Socks | Dr. Scholl’s Women’s Travel Knee High Socks with Graduated Compression (11 color options) | Graduated Compression Socks for Women Men (1 pack with 6 styles) | Arctic King 5k Remote Window | Sunbeam King Size Heating Pad | UGG® Ansley Water Resistant Slipper | Bose QuietComfort 35 Wireless Noise Cancelling Bluetooth Headphones II with Google Assistant

Gift Ideas for Chronically Ill People:
Things They Need

How does this category differ from the one above? Above are gifts that can help illness symptoms; here are “normal” things that we might need. People who aren’t receiving disability payment (SSDI) are spending their little extra money on the things above and can’t afford to buy “normal” day-to-day stuff. People who are receiving disabillity don’t have much money in general. (Fun fact: if you’re on SSDI, you can’t have more than $2,000 total, both checking and savings accounts.) You can help them out by buying things they need but can’t afford themselves.

I don’t have many suggestions for this category because it’s going to depend on the person. Think about the basics – do they need socks, t-shirts, underwear, toothpaste, soap?

Also think bigger picture. They might appreciate a gift certificate for a house cleaning. If you have time but are low on cash, you could volunteer to clear their house yourself. But there are also maid services that you can give a gift certificate for. Some companies that do this are The Maids, maidpro, and TIDY.

Another thing that people might need help with is hair washing. Some disabled people are unable to wash their hair and require someone else to do it or to go to a salon. But other people who might appreciate this are people who have recently had a c-section! When I had abdominal surgery last year, I had a lot of trouble with hair washing, and my mom had to do it for me for several weeks. And I didn’t have my internal organs removed and put back into place to get a human being out of me! Consider giving this person a gift certificate to a local salon or Drybar.

Finally, many people with a chronic illness have a hard time with getting around. I personally don’t drive unless I absolutely have to, as my knees and ankles/feet aren’t great. So another great gift idea is a gift card for Uber or Lyft. Before you get this, though, make sure that they are available in the area that recipient lives or goes frequently! For example, if I lived full-time in the Maine woods, this would be basically useless except for when I went to Boston for medical appointments.

2017 gift guide for chronic illness patients

Gift Ideas for Chronically Ill People:
Entertainment

One things people don’t talk about enough is that chronically ill people are often bored. They’re generally stuck in bed or at home and trust me, you can only watch so much Netflix before you’re sick of it. Consider getting them one of these things to help them stay entertained!

Chronic illness hacks for the holidays

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Penguin Putnam Inc. Lost Ocean: An Inky Adventure and Coloring Book Johanna Basford | Bullshit : 50 Swear Words to Color Your Anger Away | It Is Well with My Soul Adult Coloring Book | Prismacolor Scholar Colored Pencil Set, 48-Colors | Stabilo® Point 88 Wallet, 25-Color Set | Nintendo Switch Lite Console | Catan Strategy Board Game | UNO | Monopoly

Gift Ideas for Chronically Ill People:
Miscellaneous

One idea is getting them a great and fun disability pride clothing! One of my favorites is The Future Is Accessible, which comes in 25 colors and 6 styles, including sweatshirt. If you’re buying for someone who is queer and disabled, get them a Queer and Disabled shirt! This comes in 20 colors and 6-10 styles. Are you buying for someone with EDS (Ehlers-Danlos syndrome)? Check out Nobody Knows I Have EDS, which comes in 25 colors and 6-10 styles.

You can also check out DissentClothing, a teepublic store with so many great styles that I can’t include them all here. This store includes This Is What Disability Looks Like! styles, STRAWS ARE ACCESS!, Don’t Forget To Take Your Meds, Medical History Is Not Small Talk, Chronically Ch(ill), Don’t let your ableism define me, and soooo many more.

Something else you can do is get them washi tape so they can decorate their mobility device(s), like a cane, wheelchair, or crutch. Check out these washi tape sets from Target: 3pk Washi Tape Gold, Scotch 8pk Expressions Washi Tape, Scotch Expressions 3ct Washi Tape – Glitter.

Finally, if you know someone using the “typical” underarm crutch, consider getting them a pocket pouch! When I was post-ankle surgery last year, I used 2 crutches for 8 weeks and 1 crutch for another 6ish weeks. I couldn’t carry things in my arms, so I got a pocket pouch for one of my crutches so I could at least carry water or a snack. It changed the game!

What would are you going to give to the chronically ill people in your life?

Like this post? Check out:

How To Be a Hero for Chronic Illness Patients, How Is Chronic Pain Different from Acute Pain?, Helping Someone with RA, A Guide to Chronic Illness for Those Who Don’t Have One

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