Give the florists a miss and bring your loved one something more useful instead the next time you visit them in hospital.
Having a family member or friend in the hospital is a really stressful time for everyone.
And it can sometimes feel even worse for those of us on the outside than it is the patient themselves.
As we worry ourselves sick and feel powerless to help them.
But no matter how worried we are about our loved one, it's our job to keep their spirits up as they try and get better again.
And you can do this by making their (hopefully) short stay in hospital as pleasant as it can be.
By bringing them a few things to keep them occupied, entertained and comfortable.
But the question that often bamboozles people is 'What exactly should you bring someone in the hospital?'.
Well the answer to this will obviously depend on the person in question.
But we've come up with some gift ideas for you that will help your loved one in a number of ways including:
You'll be able to cover all the bases here.
So don't turn up empty handed on your next hospital visit.
Make their day a little bit brighter with a gift instead.
Why You Should Leave The Flowers At Home
Flowers may seem like the obvious choice when you are thinking of things to take when visiting someone in the hospital.
But there are three reasons why this is a really bad idea.
Bad news all round!
So when it comes to the best gifts for men and women in hospital, you should swerve the florists.
And consider some of the following suggestions on what you can replace the flowers with instead.
As these will prove far more useful and entertaining for your loved one while they are laid up in hospital.
Now we will assume that you are already covering the basics of what is good to bring for people in hospital, such as fresh fruit, soft drinks, chocolates and candy.
So instead we've focused on things that will make their stay in hospital a hell of a lot more pleasant.
And if you also want to find out what to bring kids in hospital rather than just the adults, you can find our suggestions by clicking on the link.
Gifts To Help Them Sleep Better
Sleep is such a vital part of the bodies recovery process.
As it's during sleep that our minds and bodies can rest, repair, heal and renew themselves.
So being able to get a good night's sleep is always important, but even more so when you are in hospital trying to recover from illness.
But the problem is that sleep can be so difficult to come by in a hospital bed.
Because you are trying to sleep on a ward full of beeping machines and flashing lights, surrounded by your fellow patients, snoring and groaning.
And even if you do manage to drift off.
With nurses coming in and out throughout the night to check on people, it can make sleep almost impossible to maintain.
So probably the best gifts you can get for someone in the hospital are things that will help them to sleep.
And the best way to do this is to get them things that help to block out any distracting noise and light during the night.
So an eyemask such as the ones below is perfect, as it'll black out the room from the flashing lights and movement from the nurses.
You can choose different styles depending on whether they'd prefer one with a strap, or one that wraps around their whole head.
And to block out the sound, the Mack's soft foam ear plugs are ideal.
As they will still be able to sleep comfortably with these in, while taking away the distracting sounds of the hospital ward throughout the night.
These come in two sizes depending on the size of someones ear canal.
So maybe pick up a pot of both so your loved one can use the ones that are most comfortable for them.
Things To Make Them More Comfortable In Bed
Making your loved one feel comfortable during their hospital stay is also vitally important for their recovery.
As they need to relax their minds and bodies completely to allow themselves to recover and get healthy again.
So getting them a gift that will help them do this is a really great idea.
And you can do this in a few ways.
Firstly, the hospital pillows may not be as nice as the ones they are used to at home.
So a super comfy pillow is a gift that may help them to both relax in bed and also to sleep better.
To maximise the comfort you need to go for different types of pillows, depending on which position they usually sleep in.
And another way to make them more comfortable is to ensure they are warm enough during the night.
As hospital wards can get a bit chilly at this time.
And being hooked up to IVs can also make them feel cold, as they lower your body temperature.
So a nice, warm blanket, such as the microfleece one below, can be a great gift to bring for someone in the hospital.
As this will spare them from the cold and feel warm and comforting at the same time.
However you will need to check with the hospital first before bringing in things like blankets and pillows from home, because sometimes this is prohibited.
And if they do allow it, make sure anything you bring in is clearly marked as belonging to your loved one, otherwise they can easily go for a walk!
You should also be aware that to be on the safe side, things like pillows and blankets should be used for the duration of the hospital stay only and disposed of afterwards.
As this way you don't run the risk of taking anything nasty home with you, as bacteria and viral strains like MRSA can get into the fabric in worst case scenarios.
Some Comfortable Clothes To Wear
Being comfortable extends to what the patient is wearing throughout the day and night.
So make sure they have a couple of comfortable sets of pyjamas to sleep in and some nice, loose fitting lounge wear for during the day.
And if you want to get your loved one a gown to wear rather than those standard hospital issue ones, then the next gift idea could be the one for you.
As you can get them one made especially for use in the hospital from a company called Gift Gowns.
These gowns are great, as they have snap buttons on the sleeves and back that keep you covered up better than hospital gowns, but still allow for easy access.
And they come in a range of designs and colours too.
So your loved one will feel much more relaxed and comfortable wearing one of these.
Rather than being paranoid that they are flashing everyone else on the ward every time they move around!
To see Gift Gowns' full range of gowns click here.
And even better, they will also donate a percentage for each gown you purchase to the Canadian breast cancer foundation.
So you're doing your bit for others here too.
Flip Flops To Help Them Avoid Slips & Falls
Slips and falls are a big risk for patients in hospital wards.
As the tiled floors are shiny to start with.
And they are constantly being cleaned and disinfected, making them extremely slippery.
So when you couple that with patients on heavy painkillers, and with impaired balance after surgery and illness, it can be a recipe for disaster.
Now most hospitals hand out anti slip socks for patients to wear to try and prevent any accidents.
But you could also help their cause by getting them footwear to slip on when they need to walk around the ward.
As this will save them having to put the socks on every time, which can be difficult and uncomfortable for some patients.
Footwear with a decent grip that they can just slide their feet into on the other hand is perfect.
So a pair of flip flops by Havaianas would do the trick nicely.
These are available in a wide range of colours, and are suitable for both men and women.
And as well as preventing slips and falls, they have the added bonus of protecting their feet.
As walking around barefoot could lead to them picking up germs on their feet that they then transfer into their hospital beds.
Plus they could use them for future holidays once they're feeling better again!
Skincare Products To Stop Their Skin From Drying Out
Hospital wards need to be very dry and sterile environments to stop germs and bacteria from spreading.
However this can really start to affect your skin, eyes, and lips if you spend more than a couple of days in there.
Leaving them feeling dry, sore, and irritable.
So any skincare products that can counteract these effects make brilliant gifts for people staying in hospital.
And your first port of call for this should be a really good hypoallergenic moisturiser.
As this will protect their skin from the dryness in the air and keep them feeling good in themselves.
While a good chapstick will do the same job for their lips.
Hand cream may be another good option to prevent their hands from becoming chapped and drying out.
As they will need to wash their hands more than usual.
And finally, some eye drops can help them to avoid dry, sore, and itchy eyes.
Just ensure that the skincare products you buy are non-scented and hypoallergenic.
And always check with the nurses to make sure they are allowed to be used on the ward.
Something To Read
One of the biggest things you have to deal with as a hospital inpatient is the monotonous boredom of being in there.
Because you are confined to a bed on a ward with very little to keep you occupied and entertained.
And this can make time seem to pass soul-crushingly slowly.
Which if you don't take matters into your own hands will have you climbing the walls before too long.
So one of the best gifts you can give someone in the hospital is a great book to read.
Because whether they are into classic fiction, autobiographies, sci-fi, or the latest chick lit, reading and becoming absorbed in a good book can make the time fly by.
And it'll transport them to a world far away from the hospital ward, taking their minds off any worries they may be having.
Which will help to aid their recovery.
And the same reasoning would make a Kindle reader like the Kindle Paperwhite a great gift too.
As you could pre-load it with a couple of good books for them to work through, and it won't take up as much space by their bedsides.
Plus this one is waterproof too, which is great, as spills and accidents are extremely likely on a hospital bedside table.
And one final option would be to treat them to an audio book that they can listen to instead.
These can be downloaded onto your their phone, tablet or laptop.
And they are super useful in hospitals, as the harsh hospital lighting can be straining on the eyes and make reading for a long period difficult.
Plus they give you the option to keep listening after lights out if you want to.
Because there's nothing more frustrating than having to stop mid chapter because the lights get turned off!
So consider signing them up for a free trial with Amazon Audible.
This is perfect, as you get one free e-book to download, which should cover a few days of their stay in the hospital.
And after they've finished that they can then decide for themselves whether they want to continue with it or not.
Puzzles To Keep Their Mind Occupied
Puzzles are another great way of keeping their minds off their current situation and making the time pass a bit faster.
So get your loved one a few of their favourite puzzle books to work through while they are laid up in bed.
As books containing crosswords, wordsearches and sudoku puzzles will be really well received and appreciated.
And another option that you may not have considered are adult colouring books.
As these are also really absorbing and can be really satisfying to colour in.
Plus they have been shown to be very relaxing and calming too, which is exactly what hospital patients need to recover more quickly.
So the gift of an adult colouring book like the ones below, and some coloured pencils to colour it in with, will give them something to do and also help them to relax.
And you have the options of ones that are purely for relaxing, or ones that contain funny adult messages.
Which can bring a much needed laugh and relieve some of the tension of being in hospital.
And while they have plenty of time on their hands, why not give them a retro puzzle like a Rubik's cube to solve.
As this will allow them to develop a new skill that they can use as a party piece in future.
These things have been bamboozling kids and adults for decades.
So let them use their time wisely and become a Rubik's cube master by the time they leave!
These cubes are also a great idea for people in hospital because they give them something to do with their hands as well.
Movies & TV Shows To Watch
Hospital TV sucks.
As you usually have to pay a really high daily fee to use it from your bed.
And the selection of channels leaves a lot to be desired.
So don't subject your loved one to these frustrations during their hospital stay.
Get them the gift of a Netflix subscription instead.
Because this is a great (and almost essential) gift if your loved one hasn't already got one.
As there's no better time for a guilt-free Netflix binge than when you are laid up in the hospital.
And with so many great series and movies available, they'll never run out of things to watch.
Also, keeping them absorbed in their favourite shows will help them to switch off from the stresses of the ward for a few hours.
Which they can play these wherever and whenever they like, through their phone, laptop or iPad.
And another good gift idea which will help them to watch in comfort is to buy them a laptop or tablet stand for their bed.
This way they can watch hands free, rather than having to hold their devices or balance them on their laps.
The laptop table above is especially is great, as it allows them to use their laptop easier while laying in bed too.
And it can double up as a table for food or anything else that they might want to put on it.
The Soothing Gift Of Music
Listening to your favourite music while in the hospital can really help to keep your spirits high.
As it takes you off to a happier place, soothing and relaxing you.
And it can also help you to work through the difficult emotions that come up when you are unwell and stuck on a hospital ward.
So making sure someone has access to whatever music they want during their stay in the hospital is a great way to help them.
And one way to do this is to give them a Spotify subscription to use.
This way they will be able to listen to almost any song that pops into their head, as well as a variety of podcasts.
Which they can play through their phone, laptop or tablet.
And if you really want to spoil them, you could get them a pair of Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones to listen on.
As not only is the sound quality fantastic on these.
They are also super comfortable on the ears and block out outside noise, which is invaluable at times on a hospital ward!
However these are top of the range headphones, so they don't come cheap.
But you can also find a ton of less expensive alternatives by shopping around that would do a great job as well.
Gifts To Keep Their Devices Charged Up
It's great that we have so much technology these days to keep us connected and entertained.
And it's certainly made staying in hospital for a few days a whole lot easier to handle.
However, the problem is that you'll be relying on your gadgets a lot more in hospital.
And using these devices so much will drain their battery very quickly if you're not careful.
Which isn't good, because if you hit the dreaded 0% on your laptop, phone or tablet, then you are back to boredom city.
So consider getting your loved one a gift to help them keep their devices charged up in hospital, no matter how often they use them.
Something like this portable battery power bank is perfect for this.
As it has 3 USB ports that you can use to charge your devices simultaneously.
And as it doesn't need to be plugged in to charge, you can do this anywhere you like.
So your loved one will have no excuse for running out of juice halfway through a movie when you get them one of these.
Something To Get Rid Of Annoying Itches
For some patients in hospital, moving around can be a challenge.
This can be especially true if you've just had an operation, or have broken a bone or two.
And being stuck in bed with limited movement is frustrating enough.
But it also leads to another potential problem.
Which is developing itches that you just can't reach to scratch!
And this can be really irritating, as the more you can't reach the itch the longer it seems to last for.
So a good gift for anyone in hospital that doesn't have their usual full range of movement is an extendable back scratcher.
As this way they can scratch any itches the second they arise, without having to stretch and strain themselves.
And get back to the important task of resting and recuperating instead.
Home Cooked Food
Hospital food can really start to get you down after a while.
As it can seem like an endless round of bland and tasteless food.
And the hospital chefs aren't to blame.
Because they have to keep the salt and seasonings to the bare minimum during the cooking process.
As doctors need to monitor and limit their patients salt intake.
So after a few days of hospital food, your loved one will begin to crave almost anything else!
Which means at this point one of their favourite home cooked meals will taste like absolute heaven.
So bringing in some food for your loved one to eat instead of the usual hospital fare makes a fantastic gift.
In fact, it may even be their favourite gift of the lot!
Just check with the doctors and nurses beforehand to make sure they can eat it.
As there may be dietary restrictions in place depending on what they are in for.
A Cup Of Their Favourite Coffee
Similarly to home cooked food, bringing them a cup of their favourite coffee when you visit will go down an absolute treat.
Because while the tea and coffee from the hospital cart is plentiful.
It's just no match for a freshly made flat white!
And if that cup of coffee you bring has a donut or muffin for company, then even better!
But once again, you need to make sure with the doctors and nurses first to make sure that your loved one can drink it without complicating their recovery.
Some Quilted Toilet Paper
Now this one will have to be a discreet gift.
And it's probably only suitable to get for family members that you are extremely close to.
But a small item that may get overlooked when they are packing for their hospital stay (but which they will thank you for immensely afterwards) is a pack of quilted toilet paper.
This is important, as the regulation toilet paper used in some hospitals can be a bit tough.
Leaving you feeling a bit sore and tender after your morning constitutional!
So tuck a couple of rolls of the good stuff into your bag the next time you visit, and leave them in your loved ones bedside draw.
Because take it from us, they'll be sitting a lot more comfortably afterwards!
And Don't forget to treat the nurses too
When you spend any amount of time in or around a hospital, you realise that superheroes really do exist.
And they come in the form of nurses.
As they work tirelessly to take care of you and your loved ones.
Doing work that is emotionally and physically draining, and for far less money than they deserve.
Add in the shift patterns and the disrupted sleep that comes with them, and you begin to appreciate just what they have to go through.
Yet they still have that cheery nature about them.
Making sure their patients feel comfortable and reassured as they try to get better.
So thank heavens that there are still girls and guys out there that see nursing as a noble passion and calling.
As we all rely on them so much during our darkest and most vulnerable times.
So if you or a loved one is spending time in hospital, make sure you treat the nurses to a little something to thank them for all their care and attention.
Now you should avoid anything big and bulky that might get in their way or hinder their work.
And instead look to give them treats that they can enjoy on their breaks to keep their energy and spirits high, such as.
These will all make your nurse's day.
And show them just how much they are valued and appreciated.
Having a loved one in the hospital is a tough time for all concerned.
But while you may feel helpless, there is something you can do to make their stay more pleasant and easier to bear.
And that is by getting them a thoughtful gift that they will find useful in hospital.
These can range from gifts that help them sleep better to gifts that keep them entertained and their minds occupied throughout the day.
And they will all play their part in helping your loved one to rest and get healthy again.