1. Gifts to Help Lessen Isolation
When you have a chronic illness, it can be isolating. Particularly in the winter months, it can be hard for the person with COPD to get out and be social. Visitors may also be less frequent during this time. This can lead to loneliness and even depression.
So, gifts that are meant to entertain and connect can be helpful. Some people might enjoy the gift of entertainment media, such as:
- Movies on DVD
- An electronic book reader like the Kindle or Nook
- Streaming movie and TV services such as Netflix or Hulu
- Computer or tablet that can connect to social media and or video calling services like Skype, as well as streaming music services
- An electronic photo frame or a scrapbook of special memories
You might also gift experiences. Why not give the gift of an afternoon at the movies, followed by dinner at their favorite restaurant? Or perhaps a visit to a local art gallery or museum? Or an evening at the local theater?
2. Gift of Exercise
It’s important for people who have COPD to stay as active as they can for as long as they can. Not only will regular activity help keep the airways toned and open, it will also help keep the muscles and joints strong and flexible. Plus regular exercise helps promote restful sleep, something badly needed by people with COPD. All of those things help with overall quality of life, comfort and mood.
You might pay for exercise classes or a membership at a local gym with a pool. Swimming is one of the best exercises for people with COPD, because it is easy on the body and the moist, warm air is great for the lungs.
If getting out is difficult, think about purchasing equipment or machines that can help the person stay active within their own home. Some suggestions:
- An exercise bike or elliptical machine
- Lightweight wrist and/or ankle weights or resistance bands
- Exercise videos, such as seated exercise
3. The Gift of Education & Support
If the person you’re gifting is newly diagnosed with COPD, then helping them learn more about their disease and how to thrive with it can be very helpful.
You could even search for local support groups for people with COPD and/or chronic illness and offer to drive and accompany the person to them on a regular basis
4. Gifts That Make Life Easier
When someone has COPD, everyday life can be hard because living tasks can take so much energy. Here are some ideas along those lines:
- A beautiful, warm scarf for going out in cold weather (warms the air breathed & looks great)
- A visit from you to help rearrange or reorganize the home to make life easier and more efficient
- A rolling cart to carry things around in the home
- A home pulse oximeter to help them keep their finger on the pulse (literally) of how healthy their oxygen levels are
- Easy on/off clothing — velcro sneakers or loafers are easier to put on than tie shoes, Button or zip up tops are easier to don/take off than pullover tops
- Subscription to a home delivery meal service
5. Gifts That Pamper
Who doesn’t like to feel special and pampered? People who have COPD will enjoy this too! Think about putting together a wellness basket filled with such things as:
- Upscale shampoo or body lotion
- Gourmet candies, fruits and/or beverages
- DVDs or CDs
- Pretty, unscented battery-operated candles
- Gift cards for their favorite places
6. The Gift of YOU
One of the most thoughtful gifts you can give is the gift of your time and attention. Whether you pledge just to spend dedicated time with the person with COPD or visit to help them with specific projects or activities, it can be a gift that they’ll treasure for a long time.
When you have a chronic illness like COPD, it can be hard to ask for help. This is especially true when the person is used to being independent. So, don’t make them ask! Gift them with things like your offer to drive them to the store or medical appointments. Or perhaps you’ll bring them a meal once or twice a week. You get the idea.
Gifts for the person with COPD can range from practical to whimsical. You can use the suggestions here as a jumping off point for your imagination and creativity.