Gifts for people with Chronic Illness and Disabilities

Happy Holidays!

If you’re shopping for a loved one with a chronic illness, long-term illness, or disability, you may feel unsure of their needs, wants and unique daily circumstances. Here are a variety of gift ideas at every price point, with images and links to help you find the perfect gift for your loved one.

These suggestions are appropriate for someone who is mostly confined to their home or uses a walking aid, if applicable. Here are several gift ideas along with advice to help you shop!

(This content is not sponsored.)


Find_Prime._CB331800185_

Internet Subscriptions

Streaming video allows your chronic friend to watch movies and television series’ any time, instantly, from anywhere. Especially on those bad days when doing nothing but resting is the best and only option, distraction therapy like settling in to watch movies and television is a gift of entertainment that they will certainly thank you for. Netflix, Amazon Prime, or Hulu Plus are a few of the most popular video streaming services, and they all cost around $100-$125 per year.

The Amazon Prime subscription also allows access to a wide variety of ebooks, and music, alongside the streaming video service. The Amazon Prime 2-day shipping feature is a blessing for anyone who has trouble getting out to the shops. Now that Covid-19 demands that high risk individuals like us stay indoors, Amazon’s fast online delivery is a convenient alternative. In certain areas, Amazon has rolled out Fresh, a grocery delivery service which is another fabulous gift. Audible is another of Amazon’s subscription services, and quite a thoughtful gift. If your loved one is like so many of us with chronic illnesses, then reading books becomes a tricky task due to blurry eyes, migraine headaches, brain fog, memory decline, trouble concentrating due to pain, etc. Audio books can make reading enjoyable once again. Audible may or may not be on my Christmas list this year (hint officially dropped πŸ˜‰).

Bluetooth Headband– wireless headwrap for sports, sleep, fashion, plays music through headband

Hope Box– Encouragement Subscription Box

Subscription Boxes

Subscription boxes are everywhere! No matter what your loved one is into, there’s a box for that. We used to subscribe to magazine deliveries, (and we hoped they included free samples), but today, boxes full of goodies are our new favorite delivery.

For instance, if your friend is artistic, check out these artists’s monthly subscription boxes. There are subscription boxes especially made for people who enjoy trying new essential oils, sampling gourmet coffees, tasting international wine, or tea. There are several positive encouraging faith-based boxes, a wide variety of culinary themed box subscriptions, handmade fair trade artisan boxes, and of course, self care themed boxes would be absolutely perfect for a chronically ill or disabled friend. (Note: when it comes to customizing a subscription box gift, please be aware that your friend may have fragrance sensitivities and/or food sensitivities.)

Just about any interest your loved one has, there are now monthly or seasonal boxes of goodies waiting to be delivered to his/her door!

I used to receive a monthly subscription box filled with fancy little items I would never have purchased for myself in a million years. I felt completely spoiled by my sister who gifted it to me. Every single month when the beautiful box arrived, it felt like my birthday all over again. Even if I was having a difficult sick day or if I was in severe pain that day, I would still take a moment to peek inside of my special delivery. I know she also looked forward to my monthly videos and pictures of me unboxing.

Empowerment Box– by Theresa Collins

chronic illness subscription boxes


Hair, Face, Body, Hands- Unscented Goat Milk Soap

Comfort

To relax those sore muscles, give your loved one the gift of luxury bath products. There are a variety to choose from online and in stores from very inexpensive to high end.

Wishing Well Candace (featured above) mixes small batches of fragrance free, chemical free, detergent free, essential oil free bath products for sensitive folks like myself. This block of Goat’s Milk hand soap/shampoo/face & body wash is only $7.50. Unfortunately, many with chronic illness are hypersensitive, so we miss out on beautiful bath products and often resort to using baby products. This shop offers a selection of beautifully packaged bath products without the irritating additives. I find that Etsy has the best selection of unscented hypoallergenic bath products.

Speaking of bath & body, the new company Lume has exploded in the last couple years. It began as a deodorant company, and now they also sell body wipes and soap- deodorant soap, that is. Their original unscented full-body deodorant cream remains one of my personal favorite unicorn products. I haven’t tried Lume’s bar soap yet, but if they say their soap also works for 72 hours- believe it! They do sell scented products, but a woman, man or teen can use the unscented version and it’s easy on anyone with a fragrance sensitivity, it won’t cause a reaction, as well as being gender neutral. Besides, it’s all-natural and we love a safe deodorant that works without all the health risks of the old fashioned antiperspirants.

Lume All-Natural Deodorant


Southwest chenille faux fur luxury Weighted Blanket by Handmade Heifer on Etsy

I’m not sure how well deodorant falls under the “comfort” category, but I’m confident that this fuzzy weighted blanket checks all the comfy sensory boxes. It’s soft and furry to touch, it keeps you cozy warm, it’s visually inviting, and the gentle weighted pressure delivers a boost of seratonin, making you feel safe, secure, and helps calm anxiety.

My long-time hack for sleeping with CRPS hypersensitivity/pain to touch (allodynia) is a well-weighted blanket. A weighted blanket keeps fabrics from shifting around at night and irritating neuropathy. After years of pain-induced insomnia, layering weighted blankets (along with jersey knit t-shirt sheets) helped me find my sleep again. Note: Weighted blankets aren’t for everyone. Even those who share the same condition don’t always tolerate the same products.

Quirky Collectibles

If you have a loved one who appreciates laughing in the face of his or her ailment, this note card stationary set will certainly be the best medicine this holiday! Artist, Eliza Stein depicts medication growing from plants in the style of vintage botanical illustrations. Featured here is a set of blank stationary for $16. Whether your loved one enjoys mailing notes to his/her friends or would prefer hanging these up on their wall to admire, these note cards will suit their quirky sensibility. Personally, I enjoy sending snail mail to friends and I’m always on the lookout for unique stationary. I’m just in love with this tongue in cheek medication art, aren’t you?


Art Lessons

After I was diagnosed with CRPS/RSD in my leg, both of my hands began cramping up so badly that I had trouble typing at work and using a pen to write or draw. For Christmas, my mother gifted me knitting lessons. It was a fun private lesson, and at 22, I joined a knitting circle! Even better, it helped my hand cramping and dexterity issues as I slowly continued working at it over time. Unexpectedly, the craft was a welcome distraction from my pain. Over the years, I’ve learned that I am far from alone in my chronic crafting, as people with long-term illness and disabilities often utilize the arts as a top-tier healthy coping mechanism.

This holiday, consider giving your loved one lessons for jewelry-making, scrap booking, wood working, quilting, music lessons, or photography. Encouraging them to get in touch with their inner artist could change their life. Between Master Class subscriptions, zoom courses online, instructional DVD’s available on Amazon and Ebay, content creators streaming classes, this holiday is such a great time to help your friend kick off that creative thing they’ve always wanted to do!

If classes seem daunting, consider a pre-assembled art project set for them to try at their own pace.

(If you are a disabled artist or crafter, please visit our Facebook art therapy/art share group: Chronically Inspired.)


Assistive Accessories

If the individual you are buying for uses a wheelchair, electric scooter, crutches, cane, or walker on a regular basis, try to keep mobility in mind as you shop. However, don’t focus only on buying items revolving around their walking aid. While a funny personalized “Hotwheels” license plate for their scooter or a bag attachment for their walker would be cute and thoughtful additions to your main gift, one’s walking aid or disability should never be the focus- at the holidays or otherwise.

That said, there are endless assistive accessories for the disabled shopper today! Stocking stuffers are a perfect place to add handy ergonomic gadgets to help in the kitchen, car, tool shed, bed, or at work, such as these geek-chic items linked here.

The phone holder attachment featured above is one I can personally vouch for. No more arm/wrist/hand pain being exacerbated from holding my mobile, and no more losing my phone in my ocean of blankets! This particular model stays put, and the sturdy arm doesn’t droop over time: $23 on Amazon.

As long as you include those personal touches, they will know you still see the amazing person they are and always have been.

Tiny Packages

Here are a few more stocking-stuffer ideas I couldn’t resist sharing with you: Antique and personalized Pill Boxes, fun socks by johnscrazysocks.com, or create your own completely unique blanket, bag, or shirt, at Zazzle.com

Chronically Divine Chronic Illness Pins featured above in the adorable photo of her one-of-a-kind Spoonie-corn pin. The owner has also launched a chronic illness health app, you can check it out here: spoonielivingapp.com


Clothing

I know exactly what you’re thinking, “I’m so lucky to live in a time when adult Squidward slippers exist!” πŸ˜‰

Almost every animal, mythical creature, food, and cartoon is available as slippers at retailers like Walmart, Amazon and Ebay.

Anyone with a chronic illness has “pajama days” (otherwise known as bad flare days), when we break out our most comfy clothing.

Since my pajama days are every day, I personally prefer extra soft clothing items which can pass for both sleep wear and casual wear at a moment’s notice. For example, instead of a robe, I’ll wear a soft kimono or an oversized knit sweater. It’s a simple throw-on garment over any tank top and stretch pants, but it effortlessly awakens your innermost Stevie Nicks. Priceless.

Pretty kimonos and oversized knit sweaters make beautiful gifts since they come in a variety of styles and prices.

Just like loungewear, bedding is another present your loved one will appreciate! We do spend

Whatever cozy gift you find, please make sure your friend can wash it easily in the washing machine! For more fun and fabulous loungewear clothing ideas, check out my article, Pajama Chic.


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DJ Cat Scratching Pad: UncommonGoods

Pet Gifts

You might think a pet gift doesn’t count, but our pets are our partners in crime and help take care of us when we don’t feel well (which is all the time). Give your loved one a gift for their pet and watch their eyes twinkle brighter than the Christmas tree!

Some suggestions are: a fancy print or sports print dog collar embossed with name, address and phone number like these quiet collars at Pup Panache. These jingle-free dog collars are perfect for anyone with migraines or headache disorders, by the way.

This cotton doggie backpack/carrying satchel from OneTigris would be an excellent gift for any helper-dog, service dog, or emotional support pet on the go. Or, commission a portrait of your friend and their furry bestie by contacting a professional portrait artist or pet photographer.

This past year, I gifted my sister time with a local dog whisperer for her birthday! If you get creative, you will find some interesting pet/owner bonding activities in your area as well.


Gift Certificates

Most people with chronic illness have regular “down periods” in which we can struggle to do simple tasks, and even our closest friends won’t know about it. Giving the gift of practical resources shows you care how much your friend’s life is affected by their condition.

Consider a subscription to a house cleaning agency, lawn care service, gift cards to restaurants that deliver, baby sitting agency, dog walking service, or a gift certificate to a hair salon to use on a day your loved one needs extra help caring for her hair. Some salons will even send a hair dresser out to a person’s home if they are nearby. Pharmacies, grocery stores, and online grocery delivery services like Amazon’s Fresh and Instacart are perfect spots for gift cards (not all areas apply).

If you’re short on cash, but you still want to give the most memorable gift of the season, make them a coupon book of the tasks and chores you’re happy to help them with this year! This wonderful article written by a breast cancer survivor gives insight into how friends can make a big difference during a health challenge by offering to help with the smallest things.


Awareness Items

They come in everything from funny coffee mugs to inspiring apparel. Awareness gifts can share hope, sport a ribbon, or include information about your loved one’s condition. Every girl loves receiving jewelry, and if she can feel empowered at the same time, it’s a win!

To shop more stores and items by disabled entrepreneurs, read this article by my friend at Lifeinslowmotionblog.com.


Do’s and Don’ts

-I would stay away from giving an herbal supplement or vitamin on a gift-giving occasion. Likely, your friend already has a daily medication and supplements program approved by his/her doctor.

-Books aimed at “healing” or promising wellness are usually a no-no, especially if you are not also chronically ill or disabled yourself.

-When buying shoes or slippers as gifts, be aware that many people with chronic health conditions have “picky” feet. If you do find shoes you believe they will love, do them a favor, pay cash and keep the receipt in case they indeed need to exchange them.

-Personalize. Just like the cliche goes… mom doesn’t always want the spatula and the vacuum she needs as Christmas gifts, we also look forward to receiving fun and thoughtful items (like everyone).

Rest assured, if you are shopping to make your loved one’s life easier, more comfortable, or more enjoyable, they will recognize your love above all. We should all be so lucky as to have a friend as considerate and caring as you.

Happy Holidays!

***

Holiday Gift Guide for Chronic Pain

Gift Guide for Dysautonomia, POTS and CFS

What are your favorite gifts that you’ve either received or given?

About abodyofhope

I do not know why it is that we must wade through tragic circumstances to find truth. We nearly drown! But under the water, there are pearls. I hope in writing this blog, more will come to the surface. Over the past 15 years living with chronic pain, patient advocacy has had a powerful effect on my life through meeting so many remarkable teens, women and men: SURVIVORS. These individuals are HOPE personified. I wish to honor them in the same spirit they have encouraged me to press on. Eight years ago, I became bed-bound from a variety of secondary chronic illnesses. A procedure meant to help the pain condition I had been managing for several years- went bust #BIGTIME. Over the years, my entire life has changed. I have changed, but I am still striving to live my best life possible. Along with sharing inspiring pieces about spiritual wellness and finding quality of life inside of ongoing illness, I also share health research, awareness information, poetry, memes, art, and this blog is also an attempt to put my own pieces back together. Welcome to A Body of Hope, and thank you for visiting. [Complex Regional Pain Syndrome/ RSD, Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS), Dysautonomia, Chronic Intractable Migraine, Cluster headache, Trigeminal Neuralgia, Occipital Neuralgia, Hypersensitivity to Sound & Light, Fibro, CFS/ME, Cerebrospinal Fluid Imbalance......blah, blah, blah] >>> P.S. My headgear is protective for pain. I just rock it hard ;)

Posted on December 14, 2018, in Disability, Holidays and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. That’s a really good list you can up with for peeps with pain and limitations. It’s very well thought of, Mary. I’m even more glad that after asking you your wishlist in Nov, I can now look at this for yourself lol πŸ˜† bhahawawaw you can’t stop me πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Me again. Just thought of some gadgets that are cool and save me energy: a wireless smart plug with a remote to turn on and off an appliance that you always forget by the time you are snug in bed. I suggest asking the person if they already have a specific app/company/system they use and want to add on to like their Alexa or WiOn.

    Another handy one is an RF key/thing finder with replaceable batteries or rechargeable (I frankly don’t recommend the new tile type cause they cost a lot and are disposable after a year, I mean really??) Just ordered one myself it comes with 6 slim trackers and it’s gonna save me so much walking around and energy lifting things only to find out it’s not there. I got one with a lower decibel sound. Please don’t use it on pets like recommended in the add, pets have sensitive ears like a lot of us do.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for these suggestions! I am not familiar with them. Would you mind terribly dropping a link to the type of gadget you have in mind?
      It sounds like a big help!
      I hope you had a Happy Christmas Claudia 😘

      Like

  3. I love this! Thank you ❀️.

    Liked by 1 person

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