CaringBridge Staff | 11.18.22
When a family member or friend goes through a health journey – whether it be surgery, a broken bone or a hospitalization – you’d do anything to help them feel better.
Fortunately, there are many heartfelt ways to show someone you care. From physical gifts to lending a helping hand, these 15 get well soon gift ideas are sure to put a smile on your loved one’s face:
1. Get Well Messages
When in doubt, always send the card. Get well soon cards offer your loved one a physical reminder of how much people care, and they can look back on them during hard moments. It’s a low-cost gift, but an incredibly sweet gesture, especially for those going through surgery or extended hospital stays.
Lift your loved one’s spirits by collecting messages of love and inspiration from their community and compiling them into a Get Well video. VidDay is a service that helps you create a heartfelt group video as a unique and special gesture of support. It’s free to create a Get Well video and they make it easy to invite, collect, and share the video with your loved one.
2. Books and Magazines
If your loved one is on bed rest, they may crave a variety of things to do that don’t involve watching TV. Offer them that variety by bringing over a couple good books, or the latest copy of their favorite magazine.
3. Care Products
Care products can be a fun treat to get, especially if you know your loved one doesn’t usually buy these items for themselves. Create a spa experience with items like a nice-smelling lotion, moisturizing lip balm, face masks, or shower gel.
4. Gift Cards to Their Favorite Restaurant
Sometimes, all it takes to put a smile on someone’s face is a dish from their favorite restaurant. Give your loved one the gift of their favorite meal with a gift card to one of their local haunts. It’ll be a nice change of pace from hospital food or having to cook at home.
5. Robe/Comfy Pajamas
Because what’s more comfortable than a super-soft pair of pajamas or slippers?
“A robe or very soft sweat type jammies with soft button up shirts. Always buy big as people may need room for dressings.”
A beautiful bouquet or a bright green houseplant can be just the thing to brighten up your loved one’s day.
Note: Check with your loved one or their family to see if flowers or plants are allowed in the hospital, and check if there’s a risk for a negative health reaction.
7. Scented Candles
Candles can make a great gift. A lovely, calming scent like lavender or eucalyptus can offer a sense of calm, and may provide relief from other ailments like headaches.
Similar to flowers, make sure to check that your loved one doesn’t have any breathing problems or asthma, as the scents may cause irritation.
8. Gift Basket
A gift basket with a combination of items listed above would make a great present for your friend. A gift basket is also something that can easily be shipped if you live too far away to visit regularly. What a special surprise for them to receive all their favorite things in the mail!
“A dear friend blessed me with a visit and prayer. She brought a cute gift basket with miscellaneous fun stuff – puzzle book, fiction book, small snacks, note cards, tissues box, some toiletry (sample size) items. I called it my sunshine basket!”
“I do balloons, flowers, small gifts they might like, candy if they can have it, and a crossword book.”
I’ve had a lot of friends with cancer. When they go for their scans, I make them a gift box. I usually make it color-coordinated, to a happy color like yellow, or their favorite color. It really brightens their day and makes them less nervous.”
9. Prepare Meals
Gifts don’t have to be wrapped with a bow. Helping out with necessities like meal prepping can be one of the best ways to show you care.
“Prepare some meals. After my surgery a dear friend did this for me. Things that were easy to reheat. My whole family appreciated her kindness.”
“Meals and groceries were so appreciated after my son’s surgery. We can home and had nothing in our fridge/pantry. Our church family set up a meal train and we had meals for the first 2 weeks at home. They also brought snacks and breakfast food. It helped us so much!”
Tip: To help coordinate tasks like meal sign up, picking up meds, and more, the CaringBridge Planner is an all-inclusive scheduling tool to help you request – and receive – support with everyday tasks. It’s all there, with a time and place for each task and space for anyone who wants to help.
If your loved one would find this feature useful, consider starting a free CaringBridge site for them. It could be the gift they didn’t know they needed.
10. Housekeeping Help
In difficult times, the unfortunate truth is that chores simply don’t go anywhere. Ease your loved one’s mind by taking care of some of those tedious housekeeping tasks like mowing the lawn or watering plants. Trying to do all of these tasks while sick can be quite overwhelming, so taking some of them off their plate is an incredible gift. Here are a few places to start:
- Do their laundry
- Water plants
- Yard work
- Pick up medication from the pharmacy
Important note: This gift is extra helpful when you simply show up and help out where you can, rather than relying on your loved one to tell you what they need. When going through a health journey, the last thing they need is another worry. Taking these chores off their mind will be sincerely appreciated.
“I had pneumonia when my boys were little and friends came, cleaned my house and brought meals that they put in freezer to have for next few weeks. This was wonderful. I never asked, they just showed up and took over.”
“After my C-Section, a neighbour came in with a casserole and then took with my little girl,(age 2 1/2) away to her home for a few hours, on a couple of days. That gave the little one the attention she deserved, and me, time with the baby and the space to regroup and catch up on energy and sleep.”
11. Pet Care
If your loved one is in and out of the hospital, or is laid up at home, they may need help taking care of their furry friends. Save them the money on doggy day care by offering to take care of their pet while they heal. Both your loved one and their pet will appreciate the extra help.
12. Pray for Them
Offering up a prayer for your loved one can make both of you feel more supported. To amplify the support, try starting a prayer chain for your loved one, so they know people are always thinking of them.
13. Show Up for a Visit
In some cases, a personal visit could mean even more than a physical gift. If you can’t see your loved one in person, video chatting or a phone call can be great options. A simple call can work wonders to help your loved one feel connected. Just hearing the sound of a family member or friend’s voice can be comforting. For more ideas, read the CaringBridge guide on How to Support a Friend in the Hospital.
14. Hold Their Hand
A simple hug or holding their hand can be a great source of comfort in that moment.
“It doesn’t cost anything. Take their hand – hold – squeeze – hold on – it defuses the pain.”
15. Help With Small Tasks
Sometimes lending a hand for completing small, monotonous tasks can leave some time open for your loved one to rest and relax.
“As we get close to Christmas (yes, this is way ahead of time but this little project takes some time), this would be a good time to put their Christmas card list on your computer and set it up to print out labels for them. Then, if you wish to take it a step further, you could actually write the cards for them and send them out. This would ensure they got sent out in plenty of time for them so that they would get plenty of responses; because, receiving mail is such a joy for folks. We did this for our parents and in-laws and it was very well received.”
What Other Gift Ideas Do You Have?
We hope these 15 “get well” gift ideas sparked some inspiration. But we could always use more ideas. What gifts have you given or received that have made a difference? Share in the comments below!