Posted 4 years ago
Holiday Gifts for Cancer Patients
Choosing holiday gifts for cancer patients can be challenging. Sometimes when a family member or someone we care for receives a cancer diagnosis, we want to help but are not quite sure how.
Many times people undergoing treatment do not have the time or energy to shop for themselves. The experience of going through cancer treatments is new for the patient, the family, and friends. When cancer announces itself, life changes for everyone. As the holiday season approaches, show them how just how much you care! This short holiday gift guide for cancer patients undergoing medical treatment is full of ideas that can help.
Gifts of Comfort
Many hospitals and infusion rooms keep the temperature very low. Especially during the holiday season, when the weather is already colder out, cancer patients will want to stay warm. A fleece blanket would be a great gift, and having a blanket of their own may be very comforting.
Patients often have a port to access for their treatments. The port is located under the skin on the chest. A port pillow will protect the patient from becoming irritated by a bra strap and or a seat belt. These are easily found on Amazon, at a hospital, or in the infusion room. There are also YouTube tutorials on how to make them yourself.
Taking a nap in a hospital or an infusion room can be difficult with the bright lights. A silk eye mask is an excellent gift to help the patient get some much-needed rest while undergoing their treatments. Silk masks tend to be a lot more comfortable and soothing on the face.
Comfort is going to be a priority for the cancer patient. A lovely lounge wear set or a comfy pair of slippers will be fitting. Be cautious of potential limitations, such as several buttons or clothing that causes difficulty in raising arms. Something easy to put on is the best option.
Treatments can last for a few hours. Gifting a patient with a kindle, iPad, or another electronic device would be practical. These items are convenient and will make the hours pass quickly. Cancer patients will be able to download books, movies, games, and magazines to keep them entertained. The infusion room is shared with other cancer patients. Therefore, headphones are another great gift idea! The patient can listen to music or an audio book on their phone.
Gifts for Creativity
A creative way to pass the time is with an adult coloring book, a journal, or games. These are found on Amazon, in a bookstore, and in hospital gift shops.
Skincare needs change while undergoing treatments. A goodie bag with lip moisturizer, hand cream, body wash, and sunscreen would be a useful and welcoming gift. You will want to ensure the products are for sensitive skin and do not have too much fragrance as it can cause nausea. A great local brand that was specifically created for health challenged skin is Hale & Hush.
A common side effect of chemotherapy treatments is hair loss. Women look for different ways to dress their heads. Scarfs, beanies, and head wraps are an excellent option for this. At Ironwood, we have a variety of options in our boutiques that are complimentary. These items often boost the confidence of the patients as it helps with their self-image. For boutique hours call our Integrative Services Department at 480-314-6660.
A tote bag will make it easy for the patient to carry items to and from their treatments. Add some ginger tea (aids with nausea), some healthy snacks, an insulated water bottle, hard candies, mouthwash, travel toothbrush and toothpaste (to aid with the metallic taste chemotherapy treatments can cause).
After a long afternoon of treatment, the cancer patient can be exhausted. Start a sign-up for a meal train with other friends and family. The train can be used for running errands, laundry, housecleaning, and driving patients to and from appointments. There are non-profit restaurants like The Joy Bus whose sole purpose is to relieve the daily struggles of home bound cancer patients.
About the Author
Angela Gargiulo has been a part of the Ironwood Cancer & Research Centers family since 2015. After earning a bachelor’s degree in Healthcare Administration from Grand Canyon University, Angela used her expertise to develop direct marketing initiatives and operations to create consistent patient experiences throughout all of Ironwood’s lines of business.
Angela is a caregiver for her mother, who is battling stage IV metastatic breast cancer. She is an active cheer mom, loves everything pumpkin spice, and enjoys spending time with her family!