It’s always a great feeling when you give someone a gift. Especially when a relative or friend is hospitalized it is nice to show compassion and bring a thoughtful present.
After all, being alone in the hospital or being left bedridden at home after surgery can be hard.
Even when someone is not there for a really serious condition, surgery commonly drains the patient physically and emotionally.
By showing your spouse, family member, friend, or acquaintance you care you are basically sharing in the other’s suffering. A practice that comforts and strengthens the sufferer and thus, can help them heal.
That’s why we composed a list of useful and thoughtful surgery recovery gift ideas.
Gifts related to pain reduction
Commonly they are in a lot of pain or discomfort and their movement will be restricted due to incisions, cuts, or bruises from the surgery. Wouldn’t it be great to give a gift that reduces their pain?
A great idea is to give something that makes the sufferer laugh. It is a fact that laughing reduces pain and helps heal. Studies demonstrate that
Viewing comedy leads to higher pain tolerance
Practitioners of certain martial arts learn to simulate a laugh to better endure pain when attacked. Studies show that laughter releases pain-killing and euphoria-producing endorphins in the brain.
Watching comedy videos has been shown to decrease hospital patients’ need for opioid painkillers
- A cherry pit pillow helps relieve pains and aches. Great for relieving aching muscles, stomach or back problems. It moulds to your body so it is great for providing support during the cumbersome recovery period too.
- Comedy videos make great surgery gifts. Taste varies from person to person but whether someone likes Bill Burr, Louis CK, Richard Prior, Kevin Hart, or Monty Python, (stand-up) comedy makes on of the best gifts to give someone who is recovering. If they are not able to watch a DVD you could give a comedy CD instead.
- Did you know Amazon Prime now has a free 30-day trial? With Prime you have access to unlimited instant streaming of thousands of movies and TV shows and you can read thousands of free books.
- Funny (comic) books. Again tastes differ so make sure to know if someone likes Dilbert, Garfield, Ron Burgundy’s book, or maybe a cool jokes book.
- Another useful gift to kill the time, an iTunes get well gift card.
Gifts to beat boredom
Beyond the pain, the surgery patient will probably suffer from boredom. Being confined to a bed may make someone increasingly restless. Here are a few ideas on what to give them to bring some joy in these dull times.
- Your confined friend or loved one, for this reason, will be particularly appreciative of gifts like magazines or DVD’s and videos.
- Books such as romance and mystery novels which are fun, light reading are helpful in situations like this.
- Find out if they enjoy games like Sudoku and crosswords puzzles.
- Mentally stimulating games are an excellent cure for boredom. If it is a child, teen, or gamer confined to bed video games may be an excellent gift idea as well.
Gifts that reduce restlessness
Being bedridden can not only cause massive amounts of boredom but also a feeling of unrest. The restricted movement from bruises and surgery wounds.
Not to mention the mind numbing boredom of staying in the same room, on the same bed for days can cause a nervous or agitated feeling. For such situations calming gifts are a great idea. They also help when someone has trouble sleeping after surgery.
Here are some gifts that provide relaxation in the hospital bed.
- Calming aromatherapy scents. Calming scents are lavender, chamomile, sandalwood, mandarin, and bergamot. If you want to be considerate and don’t want to let the others in the room be obligated to enjoy your aromatherapy scents you could put some drops on a handkerchief instead of using a diffuser.
- Similar products are the Herbal Hug, relaxation wraps, and for the younger patients, lavender scented plush toys.
- Popular post-surgery items are lavender eye pillows such as the DreamTime Inner Peace Eye Pillow. Also known as dream pillows, these mask shaped or rectangular pouches filled with (scented) herbs relax and alleviate stress. (Research shows lavender soothes the nervous system and helps you sleep) These pampering pillows are commonly used during yoga or meditation too.
- A vibrating head massager. You probably know it, that corny looking thing that actually works pretty well. It really relieves tension and reduces stress. It stimulates nerve endings and acupressure points on the scalp. The motorized hand-held head massager is even advertised to assist in easing pain.
- A meditation smartphone app. With seas of time it could be nice to dream off into a world outside the clinic.
- An eye-massaging mask. These devices are actually designed to relieve headaches and reduce eye bags, dark circles and wrinkles but if you are forced to stay in bed, you’ll have to entertain yourself. As a bonus you may even end up with less wrinkles too.
Staying in the hospital that can suck the positivity out of you. Seemingly small things like the soreness of laying in one spot for days on end can become major issues.
- Give the patient flowers or a plant to look at. Researchers found that just glancing at shades of green can boost creativity and motivation. The color green links evolutionary with food-bearing vegetation, which we associate with nourishment. This could partly explain why window views of landscapes can speed patient recovery in hospitals. Flowers may seem like a hackneyed gift item but they are a biggie since the presence of plants in patient recovery rooms greatly reduces the time necessary to heal.
- Get well gift baskets or post care packages are always a great gift. (Check out the fun and games gift basket on the picture and many other themed gift baskets on Amazon.)
Flowers help keep an optimistic outlook on your life. They bring pleasure and, as studies demonstrate, increase your perceived happiness.
Some more post-surgery gift ideas
Here are some additional ideas on what to pick out exactly what you know your loved one needs.
A list of post surgery gifts that can help ease the pain and fight the boredom of your loved ones in the hospital.
- The first thing you may want to include in your care package are items to lesson their pain. Some ideas are ice packs for the swelling or pain. If they are in a hospital these may already be provided so it is wise to call and check before going out and buying ice packs.
- Another gift idea could be a lumbar support pillow and abdominal support binder. This is important as being confined to a bed can be detrimental to back health and these sorts of pillows help to mitigate those health problems drastically.
- A reading pillow (bedrest pillow or backrest) can also be a huge help in overcoming the time in the hospital. Especially for those who ‘survive on books’ or who can’t do without their laptop. For those with back problems they will come in handy when back at home too. Here are the most popular reading pillows on Amazon.
- A thoughtful gift can also be a scar massager. This tool will help to lesson the visibility of scars. Silicone scar sheets also have been proven to reduce scarring unlike many other products.
- A self massager. Massage is a science-backed way of boosting post-op recovery. Learn more about the benefits of massage after surgery.
- While lying in one position annoying itches can develop. This is why a telescopic back scratcher will also make a great gift in this situation.
- Other wearable gifts to help aid in comfort include soft t-shirts, over-sized soft pajamas with drawstrings instead of elastic waistbands, track suits, and large comfortable yoga pants.
- A soft blanket is also often a welcomed gift in a situation like this. Also, a chapstick is great option for a gift due to the fact many hospitals can have dry air from the air conditioning.
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- When it is time for your loved one or friend to go home there are a few more gift ideas. One is a squishy toy they can place between the abdomen and seatbelt if they have scarring or bruising in that area.
- Immobility and a dry mouth as a result of medication may cause a bad taste. Chewing gum with xylitol stimulates saliva flow and protects against cavities. A box of peppermints on the nightstand is a welcome gift for those who don’t suffer from a dry mouth.
- Also, check to see if they have cable at their home. If not a thoughtful gift may be providing them with HBO or show time for the month they are recovering.
- If they live alone their house may get messy while they are recovering so hiring a house cleaner is an excellent gesture.
- Providing healthy snacks or a grocery delivery service is a great option too as they will not be able to do their own grocery shopping for a while depending on the severity of their injury. Consider snacks that contain anti-inflammatory nutrients.
When someone has had a particular surgery a specific gift can be a good idea. A Cook Book for the Gastric Bypass Patient for example.
Hopefully, you now have a wide array of ideas for a care package or gift basket. Tailoring it to your friends or love ones needs is important as well as adding a personal touch.
Also, remember to be extra patient as they could be in a lot of pain and may be crankier than usual for a little bit.
Personally, I like to give something that makes the other laugh. Charlie Chaplin already said it:
Laughter is the tonic, the relief, the surcease for pain.
What is your favorite gift for someone who is in the hospital?