Gifts that Matter

Holiday shopping can make you feel more stressed than jolly, especially when you’re trying to find that perfect, meaningful gift for an ill loved one or a caretaker. While being there to support your friend or family member is a gift in itself, a thoughtful present could make their everyday a little better. We heard from patients and caretakers on what they’d most appreciate as a gift, from hospital essentials to help at home.

Present Ideas For Patients

Refillable water bottle

Do better than the typical reusable water bottle and opt for LARQ, a self-cleaning one with a smart built-in water purification system.

Bath & beauty products

Unscented dry skin products are optimal for anyone undergoing treatment. Our team also loves the simple and effective products from 1818 Farms, and they even make a chemo patient care package.

Cozy socks

A sweet pair of socks (or eight) are a must. Barefoot Dreams’ plush socks are a favorite (the company is now run by the late founder’s husband, who took over after she lost her battle with cancer). Bombas is another great brand that gives back: for every item you purchase, they donate an item to someone affected by homelessness.

Go-to tote bag

Schlepping back and forth between treatments and checkups is stressful enough without having to worry about keeping tabs on your stuff. Check out SCOUT bags, designed by founder Deb Waterman Johns to be the ultimate functional tote for all.

Bluetooth tracker

A Bluetooth tracker is the unsung hero of misplaced keys, phones, you name it. Peruse a few great product suggestions here.

Sunrise alarm clock

Treatments can throw you totally out of whack, and sunrise alarm clocks help capture some sense of normalcy for your body rhythm. Double down on the sleep aid with Hatch, the smart gadget that manages to be a meditation app, sunrise alarm, sound machine and smart light all in one.

Knitting kits

A soothing activity like knitting is a great way to beat boredom while waiting for results, doctors and the like. The Purl Soho Learn To Knit Kit is ideal for first timers. Wool and The Gang also has a wide variety of lovely, sustainable options.

Noise-canceling headphones

A nice set of noise-canceling headphones come in handy all the time. A few options: Bose Noise-Canceling Headphones 700 (a great, but pricey, buy), Anker Soundcore Life Q20 (a top budget buy) or some sleek earbuds (options here).

Creative Gifts For Caretakers

Healthy food delivery

Help keep the caretaker on your list nourished with a subscription to a food delivery service. Hello FreshBlue Apron and Sun Basket are all great options that take the thinking out of cooking (and put a little fun back in).

Spa packages

Gift cards or packages for a well-deserved spa day will always be welcome. From massages to facials to nails, a little R&R goes a long way.

Homemade coupons

Go back to basics with homemade coupons! Offer to take over their duties for a day or a weekend so they can enjoy some time to themselves.

House cleaning service

Getting home to a messy place is the last thing anybody wants, especially if you’re mentally and physically tired from taking care of someone. Gift a few visits from a house cleaning service so they don’t even have to think about mopping or doing the dishes.

Entertainment For All

Patients, caretakers, friends and family alike can all benefit from a little entertainment during a heavy or stressful time. For patients, that means relief from the constant waiting cycle. For caretakers, it could mean the same, or even a little escape from their everyday duties now and again. Read on for our gift ideas for keeping the mind active and entertained.

Streaming subscriptions

From Netflix to Hulu, HBO Max to Amazon Prime Video, there’s no shortage of content online. Disney+ is a great family-friendly option, and if your giftee already has all the subs, consider giving them an add-on for an existing account (like adding Showtime channel, for example).

Mindfulness escape

Meditation apps abound these days, and there are few of us who couldn’t do with a little mental moment. Give a subscription to an app like Calm or Insight Timer for the gift of peace of mind.

Virtual therapy

Platforms like Better Help offer virtual therapy for reasonable prices, and that’s something we can all get behind. Covering some (or all) of your loved one’s membership ensures they have the support they need.

Online book clubs & library cards

Literati is a great gift for an avid reader of any age, and they’ll get curated book recs delivered to their door. Book of the Month club makes for another nice present, as does Libby, the app that puts the “local library in your pocket.” Audible is also perfect for anyone that prefers to listen.

Language learning apps

Everyone knows that person that simply can’t sit still or not be doing something. That person might make the most of any downtime with a great language learning app, like Duo Lingo, Babbel or Rosetta Stone.

The gift of knowledge

There are so many options on Masterclass, there is quite literally something for everyone. Give a session with your giftee’s favorite expert or celeb for a unique experience they won’t soon forget.

Gentle workouts

Movement does the body good, so check out the Peloton app, which features tons of classes that don’t require the pricey stationary bike (and are also much more relaxed than cycling up a hill). Obe Fitness is another app with great on-demand classes for every level, from prenatal and stretching to pilates and yoga.