When someone dear is nearing the end of life, you want to give them love and support. Many times this can be accomplished by simply spending time with your loved one. Companionship is the best thing you can give. You can sit and chat, listen to music, read to them, or watch TV. Sharing your positive memories of them and times you spent together is always time well spent.
But you may also wish to give them a small token, other than a visit, to show you care. Here 10 ten helpful or meaningful gift ideas for the terminally ill.
A comfy blanket makes a great gift for hospice patient. Hospice patients rest a lot, and may experience chills, aches, or pain. A fleece throw or a crocheted afghan that’s machine-washable and machine-dryable for easy care is always a welcomed gift. For an added personal touch, you can have special photos printed on a blanket.
A hot water bottle with a cover is a nice gift idea for hospice patients because it can reduce pain and relax the person for better sleep. To make the bottle look homier and less clinical, consider adding an attractive cover. You can order it online, or make it if you’re crafty.
A soothing candle can make a hospice patient’s room feel cozier and more inviting. And certain fragrances can be relaxing, providing some respite from symptoms or worries. Ask your loved one (or their close family/friends) what scents would soothe them or bring back happy memories. Please note: if your loved one is using oxygen, candles (open flames) are not permitted.)
Fill a beautiful bowl or other container with special messages written on slips of paper for your terminally ill loved one. The notes can be just from you, or you can ask others to contribute their own messages. For instance, a daughter might write: “Thank you for loving me through thick and thin” or “I appreciate all the time we spent in the kitchen baking together.” – anything that is true and heartfelt. The person or caregiver can read a note or two whenever comfort is needed.
Music can be a powerful, soothing tool. Arrange for your loved one to hear their favorite songs and bring back happy memories. Identify the technology that would work best for the person and their living environment – whether a CD player, MP3 player, tablet (such as an iPod or Kindle), or a traditional turntable and vinyl records. In many cases, you can borrow CDs from your public library. If the person can use the internet, you can set up playlists on websites like Pandora and Spotify. Those sites will also create playlists to match the person’s musical taste.
A favorite book or movie may be a comforting gift for your loved one on hospice care. Some people may be comforted by reading about others’ experiences and advice about end of life, including memoirs. Other may enjoy reading poetry and inspirational thoughts. Or the person may enjoy a movie from the 1960s, a comedy from the 1980s, or a recent award-winning flick.
A digital photo frame gift can help your terminally ill loved one recall positive memories. Upload the frame with special photos for the person to enjoy, reflect, and reminisce. This gift will also provide a homey touch for needing a short stay at an inpatient hospice center or living in a long-term care community.
An album/scrapbook can also bring comfort and joy to your loved one. Choose a small-size album (such as 4-by-6-inch) that will be easier for your loved one to hold and handle and fill it will memories of family, vacations, and other notable life experience.
Life on Record service enables friends and relatives to share good wishes and special memories with their loved one. The company provides a toll-free phone number that people can call and leave voice messages. You can play the messages back for your loved one, and/or record the messages on a CD or your computer. Hearing these messages can help lift the person’s spirits and help them feel loved and supported. For more information, visit LifeOnRecord.com.
A digital voice recorder will allow your loved one to share their own thoughts. They can record memories, reflections, and any other thoughts they may have whenever they want to.
Whatever you choose to give – whether a listening ear or an engaging item – gifts for terminally ill people should focus on bringing love, comfort, and understanding into the celebration of their life.