02 March 2020

7 Thoughtful gifts for someone in hospital (besides flowers)

older woman in hospital with family visiting

When your loved one is in the hospital, they’ll love nothing more than receiving a thoughtful gift that will make them feel more comfortable during their stay. As tempting as it is to buy flowers, in actual fact a lot of hospitals don’t allow flowers for patients anymore and there are so many other great gift ideas out there that will be a welcome treat for your loved one.

Whether that’s an eye mask to help them get some much-needed shut-eye during the day or some luxury toiletries to help them feel more like themselves, read on to find out about the best gifts to get someone in hospital that aren’t flowers.

1. Puzzles for a fun way to pass the time

If your loved one has been in the hospital for a while, watching TV and reading can feel a bit tedious. To mix things up a bit, blogger Jupiter Hadley recommends getting them some puzzle games for a different way to pass the time.

“For younger people or people easily bored, getting small puzzle box toys are nice. When my grandfather was in the hospital, he hated the shows on TV and was very bored - he's not tech-savvy or a book person, so my grandmother got him little puzzle toys/puzzle boxes and he liked spending time trying to figure them out!”

2. Luxury toiletries to help them feel pampered

Who doesn’t like feeling pampered? And when you’re in hospital, you need it more than ever.

Blogger Sarah at Boxnip told us how receiving some nice toiletries really made all the difference for her self-esteem while she was in the hospital.

“When I spent over a week in hospital my skin was terrible. So, gifting someone a nice cleanser, toner and moisturiser - maybe in a nice toiletries bag - is a lovely idea. It really lifted my spirits.”

bag of toiletries

3. Sleep mask and earplugs for undisturbed sleep

If it’s one thing you need in hospital but may struggle to get, it’s some undisturbed sleep. When you’re sharing a room with other patients it can sometimes get noisy, so having a few things to block out the light and noise is invaluable when you need rest.

“Having earplugs and an eye mask were lifesavers,” says Sarah. “I am a light sleeper and hospitals are noisy places. Having earplugs meant I could block out the noise and be able to sleep, whilst the eye mask blocked out all of the light.”

4. Bake their favourite sweet treat

When you’re in hospital, the food can become a bit samey, so taking the time to bake your loved one’s favourite sweet treat is sure to be a welcome and thoughtful gift.

“When my mum was in hospital for a prolonged stay, she hated the food,” says Fiona, who blogs at London Unattached. “I used to make her healthy(ish) muffins with strawberries and white chocolate as a treat - they keep quite well in a tin for up to 3 days and so I'd bring her 6 at a time and we'd share coffee and a cake when I visited. If she really hated a meal, it meant she had something to keep her going.”

Why not try out Fiona’s strawberry and white chocolate breakfast muffin recipe for yourself?

5. Easy reads they can pick up and put down

Reading is a great way to pass the time during a hospital stay. But reading the same book for days at a time can become monotonous, which is why Sarah recommends bringing your loved one some shorter reads to mix things up a bit.

“Magazines and a book of short stories were great to have while I was in the hospital. As the stories were short, I could usually finish one before I got too tired.”

older woman reading in hospital bed

6. Give them a pamper treatment

As well as giving your loved one some luxury toiletries during their stay, helping them to apply them or giving them a little pampering treatment to make them feel nice can make all the difference. Whether that’s brushing and styling their hair, giving them a manicure or even rubbing their feet.

“A treatment as a gift can also be a great idea, like giving your loved one a manicure, shave or trim,” says Samara from Gift Goonie. “It’s something that will cheer up someone in hospital, while also providing a bit of much-needed pampering.”

7. A real cup of tea to make them feel at home

You just can’t beat a real brew, and when you’re in hospital, something as small as a real cup of tea can make all the difference on your journey to recovery.

Joanna, blogger at The Knight Tribe, told us how a good cup of tea helped lift her father’s spirits while he was in hospital.

“When my dad was in hospital, his wife would make him a big flask of tea as he only got offered two a day. He loves drinking tea and just couldn’t be without it!”

We hope these above suggestions help your loved one have a comfortable stay during their time in hospital. If they’re going to need some extra care and help around the home once out of hospital, help them maintain their independence with stairlifts for UK homes.