Gift Ideas for a Loved One Staying in Hospital
A Small Gift Can Really Cheer Someone up When They Are Far Away from Home
A lot of the people I look after, come into hospital with absolutely nothing - not even a hair brush. This is totally understandable if they were in a rush or felt too poorly to pack an overnight bag.
However, you would be surprised just how many people go through their entire stay without any personal belongings. Either they have no loved ones close by or things are left at home intentionally in fear they will go missing at hospital.
The truth is, if you can't indulge in a few luxuries when you are feeling down, when can you?
Personal Care Items Are Always a Great, Practical Gift Idea
Pamper your loved ones with some good quality toiletries. Neals Yard is one of my personal favourites because all of their products are very therapeutic and healing, containing the highest quality essential oils
- Luxury Shower Gel
- Shampoo and conditioner
- Talcum Powder
- Wet Wipes
- Emery boards
Although many hospitals have basic supplies such as cheap soap and toothbrushes, the quality is very poor. Why not pamper your loved one by bringing them a selection of toiletries? Wash time is so much more enjoyable for both your loved one and also the nurse assisting with any personal care.
Having a good wash/bed bath can make the world of difference to how a person feels. Ever felt really poorly and had your back or feet washed? It is really blissful.
Well Groomed Nails Are a Must for Personal Hygiene and Feeling Great about Yourself
A lot of hospitals have a policy in place that forbid hospital workers to cut a patient's nails. We are not even allowed to clean under the nail bed in case we cause injury to a person. As frustrating as it sounds, rules are rules.
If your loved one is in hospital for a long time, maybe you could buy them a manicure kit? They could brush and file their own nails, if they are able to.
Disposable emery boards are great option because they are safe to use and can be thrown away hygienically.
Before You Buy Flowers, Think Again
Although flowers are often a desirable gift to give to someone when they are poorly, it is ill advised to bring them into a hospital environment. The primary reason is because it is an infection control risk - nasty super bugs like MRSA can cling to the surface of the plant and be spread around. This can spell disaster for people with poor immune systems.
Flowers also take up a lot of valuable table space and require lots of maintenance.
Instead of bringing real flowers in, you could get creative and make some paper flowers - a great project for kids. Or even better, you could make a personalised 'get well' card to put a real smile on their face!
A Long Overdue Hair Cut!
One of the biggest complaints I hear from patients in hospital, is the lack of hair dressing facilities on site. I know this may vary from hospital to hospital but I think it is worth mentioning, (especially to those of you who are hair dressers. Hint, hint).
Although we wash hair as part of personal care in the mornings, we obviously not allowed to cut or style hair. If the nursing staff are obliging, maybe you could hire a mobile hairdresser to pop by to see your loved one? It would make them feel a million dollars - especially if they have been stuck in hospital for a long time.
Is Your Loved One Drinking Enough?
Although nursing staff have a duty to give drinks to their patients throughout the day, it is still more dignified if patients are given the independence to drink when they want as opposed to when others want them to.
This is why I love The Hydrant - it is a handy water bottle that can clip almost anywhere - it even has a long drinking tube that allows your loved one to drink hands free. Extremely useful if one is wheelchair bound or paralyzed.
It is worth noting that some hospitals use these already, so it might be a good idea to ask the nursing staff before purchasing.
Alternatively, you could buy them some good quality, fruit squash to improve the taste of the drinking water.
Earplugs Are Probably the Biggest Life Saver in Hospital
Hospitals can be noisy places. People snoring, call bells ringing, nursing staff dealing with new ward admissions...it all happens at a time when one desperately needs rest.
Why not buy your loved one some ear plugs to help them get a good night sleep? They don't cost a lot but the benefits can be huge.
Eye masks are also great for this reason - many patients who own one, find them invaluable.
A Personalised Photo Album Will Put a Smile on Their Face
When someone is feeling down, what better way to remind them of the happier times? A great gift for those who are home sick or even for those who are suffering from memory loss.
You could either make a small photo album or even a collage of get well messages from family and friends. It takes up less space than tonnes of different get well cards and can be kept for many years to come.
The Personalised Keepsake Box
On the subject of photo albums, you could take your creativity to the next level and make a little personalised storage box for your loved one. If you aren't very creative, you could purchase one from Not on the High Street .com
Each box is made from Oak wood and as an added bonus, it is hand engraved with a personal message of your choice - not bad for £24.95.
Normally, something this big would be problematic for hospital environments but since it keeps tables tidy and clean, it is a good investment.
Although patients can top up their hospital TVs with credit, it is an expensive way of watching ones favourite shows. This is especially the case if one is going to be staying in hospital for several weeks.
It is a far better investment to buy a mini, handheld TV! They are small, compact and will let your loved one watch Freeview channels for no extra cost. They are not too expensive if you shop around for a good deal.
Internet can be expensive in hospitals. With a portable WiFi device, you can choose your own tariff to keep costs down.
The Perfect Gift for Lovers of the Internet
If your loved one relies heavily on the internet, chances are, they are going to find it very difficult in hospital. Unless they happen to own a device that allows them to connect to the internet...anywhere!
A Mobile WiFi Router is just the thing they need to solve this issue. The HUAWEI E5332 is great because it is small and compact. All you need to do is buy a pay as you go SIM card to fit inside, (like you do with a phone) and top it up with credit.
When you have done this, your loved one will be able to plug the WiFi device into their laptop or tablet. Then voila! Instant internet! A great way to pass the time during a lengthy hospital stay.
The Perfect Gift for Those with Kindles and Tablets
One of the biggest worries for people coming into hospital, is the safety of valuable items, such as Kindles and Tablets.
In an ideal world, expensive devices would be left at home or locked in a safe because it is unlikely the hospital will take responsibility if they go missing. However the reality is, people get bored in hospital. Very very bored.
If your loved one is practically joined to their electronic device, maybe you could buy them a fake book case that disguises unwanted attention from thieves.
Cuddly Toys Are Not Just for Children
Although clutter is generally to be avoided in hospital environments, I often meet patients who find small cuddly toys strangely comforting in times of distress. Either it reminds them of a favourite pet or even the family member / friend who bought it for them. A great present, especially for those suffering from Dementia.
A cuddly toy also brings comfort to loved ones who don't get many visitors - a warming reminder you are thinking about them.
Or Failing That, a Simple Call Can Make Their Day
Most wards in the NHS these days, have a TV and phone by each bed side, complete with a direct telephone number you can make phone calls to.
Although it usually costs more money to phone these numbers, it is far more personal to chat to your loved one directly, as opposed to phoning the nurse looking after them. There is very little they are allowed to tell you over the phone, anyway.
If you don't know the direct phone number, have a look next time you visit or contact the Hospedia Customer Service Team, who will trace it for you 0845 414 1234.