Wellbeing

14 “Get Well Soon” Gift Ideas to Show You Care

Ava Lopez at hospital speaking to patient

When a family member or friend goes through a health journey – whether it be surgery, a broken bone or a hospitalization – you’d do anything to help them feel better.

Fortunately, there are many heartfelt ways to show someone you care. From physical gifts to lending a helping hand, these 14 “get well soon” gift ideas are sure to put a smile on your loved one’s face:

1. Cards

When in doubt, always send the card. Get well soon cards offer your loved one a physical reminder of how much people care, and they can look back on them during hard moments. It’s a low-cost gift, but an incredibly sweet gesture.

2. Books and Magazines

If your loved one is on bed rest, they may crave a variety of things to do that don’t involve watching TV. Offer them that variety by bringing over a couple good books, or the latest copy of their favorite magazine.

3. Care Products

Care products can be a fun treat to get, especially if you know your loved one doesn’t usually buy these items for themselves. Create a spa experience with items like a nice-smelling lotion, moisturizing lip balm, face masks, or shower gel.

4. Gift Cards to Their Favorite Restaurant

Sometimes, all it takes to put a smile on someone’s face is a dish from their favorite restaurant. Give your loved one the gift of their favorite meal with a gift card to one of their local haunts. It’ll be a nice change of pace from hospital food or having to cook at home.

5. Robe/Comfy Pajamas

Because what’s more comfortable than a super-soft pair of pajamas or slippers?

“A robe or very soft sweat type jammies with soft button up shirts. Always buy big as people may need room for dressings.”

Roxann Boysen

6. Flowers/Plants

A beautiful bouquet or a bright green houseplant can be just the thing to brighten up your loved one’s day.

Note: Check with your loved one or their family to see if flowers or plants are allowed in the hospital, and check if there’s a risk for a negative health reaction.

7. Scented Candles

Candles can make a great gift. A lovely, calming scent like lavender or eucalyptus can offer a sense of calm, and may provide relief from other ailments like headaches.

Similar to flowers, make sure to check that your loved one doesn’t have any breathing problems or asthma, as the scents may cause irritation.

8. Gift Basket

A gift basket with a combination of items listed above would make a great present for your friend. A gift basket is also something that can easily be shipped if you live too far away to visit regularly. What a special surprise for them to receive all their favorite things in the mail!

“A dear friend blessed me with a visit and prayer. She brought a cute gift basket with miscellaneous fun stuff – puzzle book, fiction book, small snacks, note cards, tissues box, some toiletry (sample size) items. I called it my sunshine basket!”

Jan W.

“I do balloons, flowers, small gifts they might like, candy if they can have it, and a crossword book.”

Rochele A.

9. Prepare Mealsmeals for caregivers

Gifts don’t have to be wrapped with a bow. Helping out with necessities like meal prepping can be one of the best ways to show you care.

“Prepare some meals. After my surgery a dear friend did this for me. Things that were easy to reheat. My whole family appreciated her kindness.”

Nancy P.

“Meals and groceries were so appreciated after my son’s surgery. We can home and had nothing in our fridge/pantry. Our church family set up a meal train and we had meals for the first 2 weeks at home. They also brought snacks and breakfast food. It helped us so much!”

Jeri-Lee R.

10. Housekeeping Help

In difficult times, the unfortunate truth is that chores simply don’t go anywhere. Ease your loved one’s mind by taking care of some of those tedious housekeeping tasks like mowing the lawn or watering plants. Trying to do all of these tasks while sick can be quite overwhelming, so taking some of them off their plate is an incredible gift. Here are a few places to start:

  • Do their laundry
  • Dust/vacuum
  • Water plants
  • Yard work
  • Pick the kids up from school
  • Pick up medication from the pharmacy

Important note: This gift is extra helpful when you simply show up and help out where you can, rather than relying on your loved one to tell you what they need. When going through a health journey, the last thing they need is another worry. Taking these chores off their mind will be sincerely appreciated.

“I had pneumonia when my boys were little and friends came, cleaned my house and brought meals that they put in freezer to have for next few weeks. This was wonderful. I never asked, they just showed up and took over.”

Barbara Smith

11. Pet Care

If your loved one is in and out of the hospital, or is laid up at home, they may need help taking care of their furry friends. Save them the money on doggy day care by offering to take care of their pet while they heal. Both your loved one and their pet will appreciate the extra help.

12. Pray for Them

Offering up a prayer for your loved one can make both of you feel more supported. To amplify the support, try starting a prayer chain for your loved one, so they know people are always thinking of them.

13. Show Up for a Visit

In some cases, a personal visit or phone call could mean even more than a physical gift.

“I call my sister almost every day (she’s in George, I’m in NYC). Regardless of how far away, I always make a surprise visit. I don’t ask her if I can do anything, I do whatever she needs done. A surprise visit is a happy visit. I always love to see her big smile when she sees me.”

Gloria Jean Jackson

14. Hold their Hand

A simple hug or holding their hand can be a great source of comfort in that moment.

“It doesn’t cost anything. Take their hand – hold – squeeze – hold on – it defuses the pain.”

William Magley

What Other Gift Ideas Do You Have?

We hope these 14 “get well” gift ideas sparked some inspiration. But we could always use more ideas. What gifts have you given or received that have made a difference? Share in the comments below!

Comments (26)

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Nancy Hartney Jul 01, 2020 10:15am
These are great ideas-- I so often find folks really don't need more flowers but the gift boxes, cards, candles, etc are super ideas.
Pat McDonald Jun 30, 2020 10:34am
My very favorite is something we can’t do now. Hold their hand..
Sarah T. Patterson Jun 30, 2020 9:26am
These posted ideas are very encouraging. During this time of Quarantine, no visitors can visit Nursing Facilities. Our adult son has cancer, and friends have done several of these surprises, He is limited to trips, but we are able to take him to weekly blood transfusions. We always drive down to the waterside or beautiful flower and vegetable gardens. Eight different friends met us at the hospital and helped my husband lift our son's wheelchair. We buy his favorite toiletries, take him to Drive-thru or Pickup restaurants, do his laundry, buy smaller clothes to compensate for his extreme weight loss, take little bags of candy, bring throat losenges for dry mouth, bring cards from friends and us. There are so many small gestures that can make your sick family members and friends feel better. We always pray with him and have soft music in the car.
Phil Kraemer Jun 29, 2020 9:20am
This article helps all of us realize how we can lend love and support for those we care about. We should all continue to look for ways to extend comfort to our friends and loved ones. From my own experience; just knowing that others are unified in support and concern is very uplifting
Rx Jun 28, 2020 11:43am
If you can find a walkman and cds - music is great. Audio stories are great. And you have to realize these things might go missing, so...
Anne Cowling Jun 28, 2020 10:00am
After my C-Section, a neighbour came in with a casserole and then took with my little girl,(age 2 1/2) away to her home for a few hours, on a couple of days. That gave the little one the attention she deserved, and me, time with the baby and the space to regroup and catch up on energy and sleep.
Shirley Evans Jun 28, 2020 8:22am
I’ve given silk pillowcases and they were amazed at the wonderful comfort and coolness of it.
Patricia Bentz Jun 26, 2020 3:07pm
Postage stamps! You never have them when you need them!
Elizabeth Kristin Larsen Jun 26, 2020 1:31pm
Give the gift of a massage
Liz Jun 26, 2020 9:53am
As we get close to Christmas (yes, this is way ahead of time but this little project takes some time), this would be a good time to put their Christmas card list on your computer and set it up to print out labels for them. Then, if you wish to take it a step further, you could actually write the cards for them and send them out. This would ensure they got sent out in plenty of time for them so that they would get plenty of responses; because, receiving mail is such a joy for folks. We did this for our parents and in-laws and it was very well received.
Wendy Mellenthin Jun 26, 2020 8:08am
A stuffed animal, particularly for those who no longer have the ability to have pets. They help particularly during the pandemic when we can't be with them in person!
LindaWhitman Jun 21, 2020 1:27pm
One idea for the blind nursing home resident is a fuzzy blanket. Not too large maybe lap size. I find myself when watching tv rubbing my hand on my lap blanket. It is very comforting. With the dementia they likely won't remember where it came from but the soft comfort will be familiar from their childhood blanket.
Emily Jun 19, 2020 10:46am
I have a 12 year old great niece who is fighting cancer. I have sent things like a journal, adult coloring book, literature, hats, blankets, wraps, scarves, etc. She is a distance away and during this corona virus time visiting is not an option. She knows I am praying for her and her family and realizes that all clothing is hand crocheted. Love and time are in each article.
Jean Thomas Jun 19, 2020 7:51am
Great ideas! Have 3 people in various hospitals/nursing homes!
Madison Jun 17, 2020 11:52pm
I’ve had a lot of friends with cancer. When they go for their scans, I make them a gift box. I usually make it color-coordinated, to a happy color like yellow, or their favorite color. It really brightens their day and makes them less nervous.
JP Jun 16, 2020 2:22pm
These are some lovely ideas. Just a couple of variations to add. When you visit, it's great to talk. But sometimes it's also nice to just sit together without feeling the need to talk. Don't feel pressure to be chatty. Also, it's OK to offer in a flexible way. For example, you could call and say "I'm on my way to the grocery store, can I get some thing(s) on your list?" This is more specific than "what do you need" which helps with thinking of a response, and it lets the person know that it's OK to mention something that involves money. It also allows a specific response. I could answer a question like that by saying "organic berries" where I would not be comfortable sounding fussy if I was just making a list of suggestions.
Mary Stenros Jun 16, 2020 4:17am
I had a fall from a ladder and broke my back. I was in a body cast for six months. I have a couple of friends who would stop by and we would eat, cheer each other up and laugh. It was nice to feel normal. Some that wanted to help felt like they were smothering me. We even made up a few body cast jokes. For those precious moments things were normal and very fun. Please don't forget to laugh and remember being normal. I am also an ovarian cancer survivor and it helped to be able to laugh once in awhile. Love and Prayers from Mary
Cullen M. Dauchy Jun 15, 2020 9:48am
I would place the most important thing that we can do for an ill friend or loved one, PRAY, at the top of the list.
B Smith Jun 12, 2020 9:55am
A cozy throw blanket, perhaps in their favorite color or a fun pattern to lift their spirits.
Sharon Foster Jun 10, 2020 5:48pm
When sending a card, put the patients home address as the return address. This way if they've been dismissed prior to receiving the card, it will be returned to their home, not the person that mailed it.
Sharon Fostef Jun 10, 2020 5:47pm
When sending a card, put the patients home address as the return address. This way if they've been dismissed prior to receiving the card, it will be returned to their home, not the person that mailed it.
Teresa Boal Jun 02, 2020 9:29pm
Angela - my first thoughts that come to mind are things that may be a familiar smell to the blind person. Also tag blankets (like for infants with all different sensory tags) might be a "busy" option to touch. Maybe music recorded of different songs once enjoyed with them and tap with the beat if possible through the window and remind them why you enjoyed the chosen songs....
Carol-Ann Blake Jun 02, 2020 5:33am
Wrap a few items of choice attach a string/ribbon to each. At the end of that string/ribbon tape a time to open! This becomes a surprise to savor each thoughtful item throughout the day or days! Your choice matters!
Angela Jun 01, 2020 6:20pm
Any ideas not already mentioned for a blind person with advanced and terminal dementia? Cannot visit except through the window (and she cannot see that) due to virus regulations. Her favorite body powder is the only thing I could think of but she already has that now... Food is now measured so that is out...
Susie Jun 01, 2020 7:27am
Beautiful ideas❣️ I have a very dear friend going through ovarian cancer treatments. We say that we are traveling this journey together “hand in hand.”😌 The feel of human touch is real whether near or far away! I too will use the basket idea after her upcoming surgery, very nice and comforting! I live near a lavender farm. Your ideas are very dear and personal❤️ Thank you!
Cindy Galt Apr 30, 2020 6:17pm
A nice soothing CD to listen to while curled up in a chair or on the couch in your new comfy robe and pj's, with your nice scented candle on the table next to you. Or maybe a gift card for a massage and mani/pedi for when she is well.