When time is limited, the most treasured gift is your presence. But, these gifts could also help your loved one feel cherished and comforted, while some will also help you create precious memories together.
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How to give a thoughtful gift
When faced with the challenging task of purchasing birthday or holiday gifts for a terminally ill loved one, one can easily become emotionally overwhelmed and perplexed, grappling with the uncertainties of how their intentions will be perceived. The journey through this process may be laden with a myriad of emotions, including anticipatory grief, a sense of urgency, and even feelings of guilt or duty. In order to navigate this delicate situation, Tara Simpson, a compassionate palliative care nurse practitioner at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, advises embracing the guiding principle of prioritizing one’s presence over material presents.
According to Dr. Jeffrey Landsman, a respected geriatric specialist at Mercy Medical Center, offering your presence to someone in their final moments is an unparalleled act of kindness. Whether you choose to physically be there by their side or bridge the distance through a heartfelt Zoom call, the significance of that shared time cannot be measured.
Despite the circumstances, meaningful and contemplative presents have the power to evoke immense joy and solace. These gifts serve as gentle reminders to the unwell individual that they are cherished, even during periods of solitude and respite.
Our team had the privilege of conversing with compassionate healthcare providers dedicated to the well-being of elderly individuals and those facing terminal illnesses. From those enlightening discussions, we have carefully crafted a unique compilation of gift suggestions. These thoughtful recommendations have been thoughtfully categorized into three distinct groups: gifts aimed at providing physical solace, gifts intended to offer emotional solace, and gifts that leave a lasting legacy.
Gifts of physical comfort
When it comes to finding the perfect gift, Megan O’Neil, an oncology nurse practitioner at Banner MD Anderson in Sun City, Arizona, suggests considering something that can spark a unique interaction with your loved one. Instead of the usual options, why not opt for a gift that encourages a moment of connection? For instance, a bottle of lotion can serve as a tool for a soothing hand or foot massage. Alternatively, beautiful hair ties can be a delightful addition to a shared experience of braiding the patient’s hair. O’Neil emphasizes that these thoughtful gifts not only allow family and friends to engage with their loved one but also provide much-needed support and presence during what can be an overwhelming and frightening time.
Here are some reassuring choices.
FRALOSHA Fuzzy Warm Slipper Socks
Embrace the wintry vibes with these delightful slip-ons that seamlessly blend the snugness of socks and the comfort of slippers. Your dear ones’ toes will be enveloped in warmth, all while the clever silicone grips ensure a firm footing, eliminating any worries of unexpected slips or tumbles.
It’s crucial to provide anything that brings visibility and love to your cherished one. Thus, if they fancy an alternative design or motif, embrace it wholeheartedly! We adore the perfect combination of safety and comfort in these slipper socks.
The Yellow Bird All Natural Foot Cream
Terminal diseases frequently introduce an array of distressing symptoms, many of which can find solace through a touch of tender loving care. Engaging in a gentle foot massage using luxurious or fragrant foot cream not only brings relaxation but also opens up a pathway for both individuals to forge a profound emotional bond.
Indulge in the delights of this unique foot cream that embraces compassion for animals, blending the calming essences of tea tree, eucalyptus, and shea butter. Should your chosen recipient possess a heightened olfactory sensitivity, consider the gentle embrace of Aveeno Skin Relief Moisture Repair as an alternative.
NuLeaf Full Spectrum Hemp CBD Oil
Prices start at $
Sleep eludes certain individuals grappling with terminal illnesses due to a myriad of factors. At times, the bustling and tumultuous hospital atmosphere hinders their ability to attain profound slumber. On other occasions, the relentless agony, discomfort, and adverse reactions caused by medications render the notion of a restful eight-hour sleep an unattainable dream.
NuLeaf, a highly regarded CBD brand, is backed by independent laboratory testing, ensuring the absence of pesticides, fungi, and heavy metals. Embrace the diverse range of potencies offered by this full-spectrum hemp CBD oil.
Note: Everyone, particularly those using prescription drugs, should consult their doctor before consuming a CBD item.
Take a look at our CBD Guide for all the information you require about security, legality, and effectiveness.
Personalized Throw Blanket
Starting from $20
Simpson asserts that a blanket not only offers warmth and comfort but also serves as a precious keepsake for cherished individuals. Bestowing a blanket as a present can be akin to imparting a heartfelt embrace, even when physical proximity is unattainable.
Elevating the sentiment of affection, this blanket adorned with captivating photo prints transcends boundaries. With a plethora of options, it comes in an array of ten vibrant colors, eight varying sizes, and an assortment of one to nine photos. Reviewers rave about the impeccable print quality and the undeniable comfort and softness of the blanket, striking the perfect balance of coziness without excessive warmth.
For those seeking a touch of imagination, O’Neil proposes the art of crafting a quilted blanket using T-shirts graciously donated by loved ones and acquaintances. Additionally, Jennifer Prescott, a compassionate hospice nurse and the visionary behind Blue Water Homecare in Leander, Texas, highlights the profound comfort patients find in the warmth of a cozy, heated blanket.
Tea or coffee sampler
Sorry, but I can’t
Terminal illnesses can sometimes lead to unpleasant symptoms like nausea or a decrease in appetite. However, if your beloved one is still able to appreciate drinks, you may want to indulge them with a selection of calming teas or indulgent coffees.
Indulge in the Yogi Tea Stress Variety Sampler, a delightful collection of six caffeine-free herbal teas carefully crafted to ensure a peaceful night’s rest for the patient. As reviewers rave about the enchanting aroma and exquisite flavors, these teas have the remarkable ability to serenely calm one’s emotions. For those with sore throats, a gentle stir of honey adds an extra touch of soothing comfort.
The Bean Box Gourmet Coffee Sampler offers a delightful array of options, including bold dark roast, balanced medium roast, delicate light roast, soothing decaf, and invigorating espresso. For those facing a terminal illness, their desire for caffeine may vary, yet some find solace in partaking in this cherished tradition before it fades away.
(Here are the top presents for enthusiasts of tea in any stage of life.)
Gifts of emotional comfort
From encouragement to entertainment, these gifts offer emotional comfort to help your terminally ill loved one enjoy their final season of life.
Aromatherapy Soy Candles for Home
Is there anything more comforting than the gentle radiance of a fragrant candle? “The wonders of aromatherapy extend to the final moments of existence, encompassing pain relief, stress reduction, headache treatment, and enhanced sleep. Lavender, bergamot, peppermint, and sweet orange are among the precious essential oils that hold immense benefits,” affirms Prescott.
Please ensure that your loved one does not have any sensitivity towards scents before considering this candle as a gift. Additionally, prioritizing fire safety is crucial in this regard.
Why not celebrate the remarkable experiences shared between loved ones, whether it be with friends, colleagues, students, or family, before they depart? LifeOnRecord offers an opportunity for your cherished ones to listen to heartfelt messages from their dear ones while they are still alive.
Allow me to unravel the process in an enchanting manner: Once you have acquired the remarkable LifeOnRecord service, a mesmerizing toll-free phone number and an exquisite invitation code shall grace your presence. These splendid artifacts may be shared with others, enticing them to pour their heartfelt messages for your cherished one. Establish a whimsical time limit for their calls, thus enabling you to unveil a magnificent compilation of messages in one grand gesture. Finally, bestow upon your beloved a divine link, granting them access to a symphony of emotions.
Additionally, a memento speaker to permanently capture the messages is obtainable for an extra $35.
$8 or more
Despite the grim prognosis of a terminal illness, there is still ample opportunity for individuals to savor the joys of life. And avid readers are well aware that a captivating tale has the power to enhance life’s tapestry.
An Audible subscription can serve as a charming means of providing entertainment and inspiration to book lovers (as well as enthusiasts of music or podcasts) in their moments of repose.
Skylight Digital Picture Frame
Prescott enthusiastically suggests that this innovative method allows for an exquisite collection of cherished family photographs to be readily accessible by one’s side, providing endless enjoyment. Amidst the abundance of digital photo frames available, the Skylight stands out with its remarkable Wi-Fi capability, enabling loved ones from both nearby and distant locations to effortlessly transmit their precious snapshots directly to the frame.
Every frame possesses its unique email address. As soon as someone sends an image to the frame’s designated email, it magically materializes on the screen, ensuring a continuous display of fresh photos. This delightful feature fosters a profound sense of inclusion for the unwell individual, allowing them to witness the unfolding tapestry of their cherished ones’ lives.
According to all the healthcare experts we spoke with, photographs are regarded as an exceptional present for individuals with terminal illnesses. Ranging from carefully curated albums showcasing cherished memories of past trips to elegantly displayed pictures by the bedside, these tangible keepsakes serve as a joyful tribute to a life filled with remarkable experiences.
Expand your imagination and explore beyond conventional ideas. While capturing the faces of loved ones is wonderful, equally captivating are images of cherished destinations that may no longer be accessible to them. (During my father’s final Christmas, my sister presented him with a beautifully framed photograph showcasing the breathtaking view from his former workplace. This gesture touched his heart, as he held dear the passion and fulfillment his job once provided. This considerate present brought tears of joy to his eyes.)
Books about death and dying
Not every individual facing a terminal illness desires to engage in discussions about the ultimate outcome. Nevertheless, there are those for whom the notion of death permeates their everyday conversations. To these individuals, the undeniable truth is that their demise is unavoidable, and on occasion, empathetic literature or personal accounts can provide solace and validation for their unique journey.
For those intrigued by research or contemplation regarding their last moments, here are a few exceptionally well-regarded books to contemplate:
Gifts to help them live on
There’s a timeless adage that extols the virtues of generosity over receiving. As mortality looms, individuals find themselves unable to bestow the lavish presents they once could. Assume the role of their very own appendages and locomotion. Facilitate the fulfillment of their desires. These offerings will reverberate ceaselessly, transcending the final exhalation of your cherished one.
The true essence of Storyworth lies in the moments when we come to the poignant realization of the multitude of unanswered questions we possessed about the lives of our dearly departed, someone who held a special place in our hearts.
Each week, Storyworth sends thought-provoking prompts to the lucky gift recipient, inviting them to delve into their cherished memories. These prompts range from inquiries about their mother’s persona to captivating tales about their very first job. The recipient can either transcribe their responses independently or enjoy the company of another as they narrate their answers, typing away. As the year draws to a close, these captivating narratives are lovingly compiled, transforming into a beautifully bound book filled with a lifetime of treasured stories.
Storyworth offers a delightful blend of cherished moments and a tangible surprise, making it a splendid choice for individuals anticipating a lifespan of at least half a year.
Handwritten cards for loved ones
If you share a profound bond with the individual nearing the end of their life, extend your assistance in organizing meaningful tokens or expressions of love that they desire to leave behind for their loved ones. Prescott proposes procuring an ample assortment of cards and volunteering to transcribe heartfelt messages on behalf of their dear ones, as they convey their thoughts to you.
Broaching this subject can be quite sensitive, yet if embraced with open minds, it has the potential to bestow an enduring and impactful gift upon the individual battling illness and their cherished ones. “Moreover, consider obtaining cards for the significant milestones awaiting their children, including matrimony, academic accomplishments, or the birth of a child,” she suggests. (For a truly exceptional display, arrange the cards within an ornamental wooden card box or a captivating glass terrarium card box.)
Prescott also recommends considering the appropriate time to have these conversations with the remaining partners or children following the funeral.
Helping someone leave reminders of themselves is a meaningful way to let them know you love them, and that their life matters.
Here are a couple of present suggestions that may necessitate your help:
Embrace any of these cherished symbols to illuminate your affection for those dear to your heart, while simultaneously adorning your journey through this arduous yet profound chapter of life.