The Holidays Are Upon Us, Now What?

Once again we’re shopping for our loved ones' gifts. Sometimes buying for our loved ones can be difficult. It can be harder yet when purchasing something for someone with a chronic illness, or someone with COPD.

Some people have been asking for a new list of ideas for their loved ones during this holiday season. They’ve seen the one last year and the one before so they have asked if I can come up with something new. My daughter was one of them!

I’ll give it a try.

Everyone is different

It’s important to realize that everyone is different and the stage of COPD they are in can make a big difference. Hopefully, there will be something here that you would like to give to your loved one. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Bars to pull themselves up, to hold onto for support. These can be used for bed, bathtub, shower, or toilet.
  • Bed pillow. There are so many choices out there. I found a gel pillow that I love and it holds its shape. Check out the many choices online, you may see some locally too.
  • Candle that uses tea lights. There is no smoke that can affect their breathing as a real candle would. Scented products might also affect your loved one.
  • Cane for walking and balance.
  • Cardigan or something warm for indoors with pockets for their inhaler, etc.
  • Cards anyone? Does your loved one play cards? You could give playing cards with family pictures on the back. You could get a dice game, checkers, other games, even tic tac toe. Enjoy a get-together!
  • Carpets shampooed.
  • Cell phone or tablet.
  • Face mask for being outdoors or even walking to the car.
  • Fitness equipment: Discuss with doctor, pulmonary or physical therapist (if they are seeing someone), to get their recommendation.
    • Lightweight weights
    • Video for weights and exercise
    • Treadmill that has a key that attaches to clothing. If your loved one falls, the key pulls out and will stop the machine. Adjustable speed, incline, and multi-functional LED displays are nice features.
    • Recumbent exercise bike: this has a back on it which is very nice and provides comfort as well as security. Some recumbent bikes have handles that monitor the cardiovascular part of the exercise.

Gift baskets and more

  • Gift basket ideas: pill dispenser; scented lotion; mug; instant soup, tea and hot chocolate; certificate for mani/pedi; fruit; movie tickets or a video with popcorn, a drink, and boxed candies; you can use anything. What would you put in a gift basket?
  • Gift certificate to his/her pharmacy.
  • Gift certificates to a favorite store, especially if they shop online or visit a favorite store..
  • Hot Shot. Will heat up 2 cups of water quickly and gets very hot. Great for instant coffee, instant soup, instant hot cereal, apple cider, and instant chocolate milk. Yum! A few years back, we gave one to each of our kids and parents. You can possibly think of other ideas for this.
  • Household needs. Clean or help with other needs a few hours a week, or hire someone to help.
  • Kindle and gift certificates for books.
  • Pet grooming could be a wonderful and healthy gift if they have a pet. Maybe the pet is due for a yearly visit to the vet, needs shots, or even a teeth cleaning.
  • Photo album with pictures that they might not have seen.
  • Recliner, one that is made for sleeping in or one that lifts. Depending on your loved one's needs.
  • Shower chair: So safe. Sitting in a shower doesn’t wipe a person out as much as standing in the shower. Does she still shave her legs? It’s so much safer sitting. He might need to sit so that he's able to relax better.
  • Slippers, nonskid.
  • Terrycloth bathrobe. This can also act as a bath towel for drying.
  • Treadmill. Get an okay from the doctor to make sure that it’s recommended to use. Or a recumbent exercise bike with moving handlebars for cardio.
  • Walker. Medicare might pay for this.

Be careful with scented products or flowers. For some people, these can trigger a reaction to a COPD exacerbation. Ask your loved one her/his preference or need.

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