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18 thoughtful gifts for people with chronic conditions

27th August 2019

Whether it’s someone’s birthday, Christmas or you just want to show someone how much you care, there is nothing better than seeing someone’s face light up after giving them a gift they love. And when it comes to buying a gift for someone with a chronic illness or disability, often the most cherished gifts are ones that make everyday life easier or that soothe and relax them when they are feeling under the weather.

To make the search for the perfect present a little easier, bloggers with chronic illnesses and disabilities were asked to talk about the gifts they would love to receive or have already been gifted by their loved ones.

1. Grabber tool

“The best item which I was gifted recently to help me with my chronic pain is something so simple and affordable but so helpful! It's a long grabber tool or as I like to call it the ‘grabby’. I find it so helpful when my pain is really acting up for simple things such as closing my curtains, picking things up that I've dropped on the floor and grabbing things that are slightly out of reach. It's honestly one of the best things I've found that helps me daily and it's something that I wouldn't have thought about buying until my mum came home with one for me.”

- Kirsty, As Told by Kirsty

“I have FOP (fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva) and a grabbing tool has been my saviour, as I can't pick things up, reach up into high cupboards or take the washing out of the washing machine. It just gives me more independence day to day. It also means I don't have to ask for help so much.”

- Lucy, All Things Beautifully Made

2. Video streaming subscription

“Living with MS can mean a lot of time is spent resting and having days where I can hardly do more than stay in bed. For me, the best presents are entertainment gifts that I can enjoy in the snugness of my bed, such a subscription to Netflix. On these days I don't want to be reminded of my illness. I want to be able to do things that take my mind of feeling rubbish, while also looking after myself and giving my body the time it needs to rest.”

Heather, Dinosaurs, Donkeys & MS

3. Weighted blanket

“Having anxiety and depression, I’d love a weighted blanket. They're a bit pricey, but I’ve read a lot on how much they've helped people with chronic illnesses to help alleviate their pain.”

- Vicki, Mumma and Her Monsters

“I have bipolar and I am desperate for a weighted blanket for my bad days, but my hints haven't quite been met yet by my husband…”

- Alice, Life as Alice

4. Self-care subscription box

“I love The Self Care Subscription Box. The lady who puts these together is amazing, and the contents are well thought out and perfect for people with disabilities and chronic illnesses/pain. They really do put a smile on your face!”

- Hayley, Winging it with Two Boys

5. A warm/heated blanket and new pyjamas

“I’m 18 and have a combination of psoriatic arthritis and/or Behcet’s disease as well as a clotting disorder, endometriosis, IBS, pituitary tumour, kidney injury and I will also need a liver transplant within a couple of years.

“A lot of people with chronic conditions have flare-ups in winter, plus we spend more than enough time in pyjamas to warrant getting some new ones! Anything related to making you comfier in bed is so important because often being in bed makes you feel gross and dirty - not to mention feeling unfit to be seen! For me, a nice blanket and some new pyjamas really go a long way in helping me feel more presentable as well as comfortable. Plus, anything warm helps my pain a lot more than most painkillers do!”

- Hannah, Crunch & Cream

6. Bath salts

“I’m 28 and I have psoriatic arthritis. I particularly love bath salts. Living with chronic illness, fatigue can be as big of an issue as the illness itself due to our bodies constantly fighting something. Things that remind me to take some time out and relax are always a winner.”

- Jamie, Mama Bear of One

7. Luxury Diabetes bag

“I would definitely recommend a handbag from the company Myabetic - I have type 1 diabetes and I would love to have one of their handbags, they’re beautiful (I’m sure non-diabetics would agree!) and the fact that it helps with packing all our medical supplies makes it that extra special and a really thoughtful gift. It’s nice when people recognise that you have an extra battle to face each day without making you feel like a patient.”

- Sarah, The Penniless Parent

8. Mini fridge

“I must say, the most useful thing I own is a mini fridge which I got second-hand for my birthday. It means I can keep cold drinks and snacks in my room instead of having to go all the way downstairs to get them. I often buy things like mini sausage rolls and pasta salads to keep in there for days when I can’t get up to make dinner and nobody else is home to help.”

- Hannah, Crunch & Cream

9. Shopping trolley

“It wouldn't be at the top of most people's gift list, but a shopping trolley makes a huge difference, and these days you can get some truly beautiful ones. I made a new cover for mine, so you could always buy a pre-loved one and customise it for the recipient.

“Having a shopping trolley helps me to manage my chronic illness because I just can't carry shopping bags. My joints dislocate from the weight and cause severe pain. In addition, I struggle to regulate my temperature, so I need to carry a coat with me and it's helpful to have a little mat in case I need to sit down. Having the trolley makes me feel more independent and better prepared for the day.

“If I were to propose something that I personally would love to receive, I would LOVE one of these gorgeous hand-woven basket trolleys.”

- Rachel, Marvellous Mrs P

10. A luxury foot treatment

“As a psoriatic arthritis suffer, I love pamper treatments. I suffer particularly in my feet, so getting a pedicure or having a reflexology treatment is a real treat!”

- Kara, Chelsea Mamma

11. Crutch grips

Oarsome crutch grips are great for anyone who uses crutches. My crutch grips have been priceless in the almost two years I’ve had them. Normally I can barely use crutches due to the pain and pressure on my hands, but my hands barely swell at all using these! They’re also easy to sanitise and keep clean with a damp cloth and some disinfectant since they come on and off pretty easily.”

- Hannah, Crunch & Cream

12. A nice pill dispenser box

“My husband got me a really nice pill dispenser. I was quite embarrassed that I even needed one, but it made a huge difference to me as I went from two pills a day to eight. It really helped me get organised with my medication. It was such a perfect gift as my memory was shot from the new medication and tiredness.”

- Emma, The Cheshire Wife

13. Wheelchair drink holder

“I’ve been wanting another one for ages after receiving one as a gift a couple of years back, as trying to push myself with one hand whilst holding a drink when out and about just doesn’t work. It would make a nice gift that will very likely be used well by a wheelchair user on a day-to-day basis.”

- Steph, Stephanie Weller

14. Oil diffuser bracelet

“This is great for my ME. I add drops of a blend specifically designed to fight fatigue and I can wear it anywhere. The fact that this one comes with multiple sponges means it's great for people with multiple conditions who might need to use another oil for something else.”

- Heather, Just Geeking By

15. Non-rinse toiletries

“What I've found super helpful is leave-on products like the Pixi Beauty non-rinse face cleanser and dry shampoo! Some days, I can't stand up long enough to even wash my face without passing out, let alone stand up in the shower long enough to wash my hair, so other options make a huge impact. You don't feel very cleansed swiping a baby wipe over your face and having greasy hair, and when you feel poorly, things like that can really make you feel worse mentally! Little things like the wash and dry shampoo followed up by a sheet mask make me feel pampered and like I've got things under control again!”

- Rhi, Tsundoku Girl

16. Wrap-around hot water bottle

“I have an autoimmune disease and there are so many things I can think of to help poor circulation. But one thing would be a YuYu hot water bottle that wraps around your body. It retains heat for a long time and you can also travel with it.”

- Georgina, Georgie xoxo

17. Days out and season passes

“My son Rhys is 16 and has Down’s syndrome. His best present is a season pass to somewhere he can be as independent as possible (Thorpe Park, local zoos etc). He has always been hard to buy for as he has never 'done' toys or they've not been age appropriate, given his disability. Therefore, vouchers and trips out are a good option.”

- Alice, Life as Alice

18. Giving your time

“I have Crohn's and I’m often in and out of hospital having appointments and operations. The thing I appreciate the most is people's time. Either them coming to visit me, accompanying me to appointments or looking after my children while I'm away. It's hard juggling chronic illness and children, and it's lonely as I often have to attend appointments on my own. I really appreciate it when someone comes with me. It’s a simple thing but it means a lot.”

- Erica, The Incidental Parent

“Not a specific gift, but sometimes I struggle to leave the house and it can become quite isolating. A friend who turns up with a takeaway, a good bottle of something and a DVD to spend time with me is always welcome.”

- Candace, Buckets of Tea

From gifts to help your loved one feel pampered to practical presents that make day-to-day life easier, there are lots of gifts out there to help ease the strain that having a chronic illness or disability can bring.

When you or your loved one feels under the weather, having a walk-in bath and shower system in place makes it easier than ever to have a refreshing and soothing wash. Visit the website or call the friendly team today to see which of the bathing aids are right for you and your home.

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This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.