Four lists for gift-givers to folx with chronic pain, arthritis, migraines, back pain, and other pain.
Gifts for less-mobile people
Gifts specifically about pain
Gifts to think twice before giving
I’m not doing links – I’m not getting any kickbacks for any of these. Not even the brands I endorse directly. But if you have questions, I’ll answer them.
Gifts for people who cannot move around as much as they would like.
- indoor/outdoor thermometer with humidity reader – so you can tell what the weather outside is like even if you are not able to get there
- soft throw pillow – for nesting – ones that can be bent into multiple shapes are especially good
- gift cards to a streaming movie service
- gift cards to a streaming music service
- warm, soft socks – This might just be the #1 gift for people over 40.
- bird feeder (with installation) outside the most used window – maybe one of those that mounts directly on the window
- nice hand lotion – I’ll endorse Hempz, but there are many good brands. Check for one that is unscented or only slightly scented.
- lip balm – I’ll endorse TonyMoly’s Liptone as my current fave.
- hydrosol or facial spray – helps feel clean when you cannot get to wash
- magazine subscriptions – I can often read magazines when I cannot focus on books
- Pashmina scarf – the real ones are super soft and double as blankets
- gift cards to a food delivery service
- fancy or pretty canes – something that matches the personality of the recipient
- leggings or joggers – but get something fancy, we’re often in the same clothes for a long time and want something that helps us feel nice
- sunlight lamps for the winter
- essential oil diffuser – frankincense, ginger, and rose are good for pain, bergamot and lemongrass are also mood lifters, lavender and chamomile also help with rest
- a houseplant
- speakers for computer or TV
- visits from a cleaning service
- laptop pillow – to comfortably hold computer – maybe with a cup holder
Gifts that help specifically with pain
- Arthritis gloves (IMAK brand)
- Turmeric tea – curcumin helps calm pain
- IMAK also makes a great compression mask to cover your eyes when headaches hit.
- Ted’s Pain Cream
- topical CBD products
- Biofreeze or another lotion/gel/spray painkiller
- Theracane – a device for self massage on tough-to-reach spots
- heating pads – especially that one that wraps around neck and shoulders and is filled with lavender that smells good – also the large heating pads
- essential oil roller sticks – lavender, rosemary, or ones labelled for pain, headaches, or sleep (Often we are on so many traditional painkillers that we cannot take a Tylenol for a headache – something like this helps.)
- support pillows for in the car
- TENS patches or sets – sends electronic charges to relieve pain
- Calm, Buddify, Headspace – or other meditation apps
- infrared heat therapy devices
- acupressure therapy mats
- pain management apps – like Curable
Gifts that cost little or nothing
- Make a list of fun websites you think they will enjoy.
- Make a list of movies, songs, etc. that they might want to check out.
- Hand over the last book you read and really loved.
- Teach lessons on how to do a craft you like knitting, whittling, or paper cutting.
- Design coupons for days to come over and make dinner (or meal delivery from your kitchen).
- Give a massage – if its a person to whom this offer won’t be creepy.
- Kids art is always fun. Adult art can be amazing as well.
- Offer to go shopping for them.
- Ask them if there is a task they need an extra hand with – cleaning the gutters, clearing old garden beds, taking things in and out of the attic.
Check before you give these gifts
- candles – some people dislike certain scents
- strongly scented lotion / body spray – same as above, but more so
- mugs – who doesn’t already have enough mugs? your friend? then give one
- food / candy – many pain folks are on restricted diets, make sure any gift fits with those diets
- books about their condition – some folks will love these, others will think you are trying to communicate a message to them about their illness – in a bad way
- exercise equipment – make sure it’s wanted and usable by the person to whom you are giving it