The holidays are a special time dedicated to family, friends and festivities. Gift-giving can be a great way to show our appreciation of our loved ones, but it’s often difficult to think of thoughtful and functional presents for friends and family currently suffering from Lyme Disease. That’s why Care+Wear and our partner Global Lyme Alliance, the leading 501(c)(3) dedicated to conquering Lyme and other tick-borne diseases, asked our communities on social media what they thought would make a great gift for a patient with Lyme disease. The result: this extensive gift guide - enjoy!
Hospitals can often be very cold and Lyme disease can increase one’s sensitivity to extreme temperatures, with side effects such as fevers, chills and sweats. Blankets and hats are a great way to retain heat and stay snug. Consider buying a hat, blanket or both through GLA’s holiday program – you’ll not only help your loved one, but you’ll contribute to fighting Lyme disease as well!
Many people believe that keeping your feet warm is the secret to never catching a cold. Wearing fuzzy socks or slippers is a comfy and cute way to prevent the body from getting too cold and helps prevent tracking in dirt from outside!
Sweaters: the number one autumnal fashion piece. You can never go wrong with buying your loved one a sweater - cozy and effortlessly stylish!
Lyme often makes patients very tired, making it all the more important to get the best quality sleep one can get. Soft and breathable pillows and pajamas make a big difference in comfort.
For a Lyme patient receiving treatment through a PICC Line (semi-permanent IV), it’s very important to keep the PICC Line secure, while still allowing it to breathe. Consider a PICC Line Cover with a mesh window to keep the site protected, while still allowing for visibility/breathability of the line.
Some Lyme patients experience uncomfortable symptoms such as hot flashes due to hormonal imbalances. Having a fan with a remote control is a convenient way to help them cool down!
In addition to everything patients already have to go through, migraines shouldn’t be one of them. Strong sunglasses can help filter out the sun and prevent your loved ones in sunny areas from getting migraines.
Everyone has days when they’re too busy or tired to wash their hair, but when you’ve been undergoing treatment, your energy levels are particularly zapped. Dry shampoo is a quick and easy fix to freshen up greasy hair after one or two days of not showering.
Gifting a video streaming service subscription such as Netflix or Hulu is a great way to keep your loved ones entertained at home, in the hospital or on-the-go in between treatment sessions.
Puzzles and coloring books can help patients stay busy and entertained during treatments; puzzles keep the mind sharp and coloring is a fun, but also soothing and low-energy activity.
Having Lyme disease can sometimes be a hard journey. A journal is a wonderful way to let your loved ones record their thoughts or to write down any questions they may have for their doctor. You can also get a diet or symptom journal so that your loved ones have an easy way of sharing specific concerns with their nurses or doctors.
There’s nothing like settling down with a good book! Whether it’s a fantasy, biography or how-to book, ask your local bookseller for a recommendation. Self-help books can also be useful in helping patients to stay positive during treatment.
Send your loved ones some of their favorite high protein snacks to keep their energy up! A monthly healthy snack subscription box can also help ensure that your loved one receives healthy and nutritious snacks on an ongoing basis.
Unprocessed honey is a favorite among patients. Honey has antibacterial properties that can help boost the immune system, making it a healthy and delicious gift. However, keep the quantity small as patients need to moderate their sugar intake!
Turmeric has been shown to reduce inflammation. Some Lyme Disease patients find that turmeric or turmeric tea can help reduce skin rashes, combat flu-like symptoms, treat stiffness and pain in the joints, and attenuate fatigue and body aches.
Because Lyme patients often experience fatigue, tiring chores such as house cleaning can be very difficult. Offer to come over and help clean for a few hours, or consider hiring a part-time cleaning service so that your loved one can rest up!
Cooking is another activity that requires time and effort that a patient may not always have. Consider gifting a certificate for a delivered meal system or grocery delivery service. Having access to food without spending an hour or so to get it on your own is a great gift, especially for loved ones who live in areas that require them to travel long distances to buy groceries.
Transportation is tiring for everyone, but imagine the extreme fatigue of patients on treatment days. Gift cards for transportation companies such as Uber and Lyft give the gift of convenience and comfort along with the guilt-free pleasure of ordering a free ride.
If your loved one is a parent, think of offering them a babysitter for a few hours. Gifting this precious time can let them conveniently go to and from treatment and run other errands without having to worry about watching their child.
Lyme Disease patients often suffer from chronic pain, causing discomfort and sensitivity. Many find that light massages can help them to relax, cope with pain and enhance the lymphatic response. While patients should discuss with their physician before receiving any kind of touch therapy, ask your loved one if they would be interested in a spa or massage therapy gift certificate at a local center.
Have another idea? Share your thoughts in the comments below or shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!
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