How to Buy a Perfect Gift for Someone in the Hospital

monkeybusinessimages/iStock/Getty Images

Choosing the perfect gift is difficult at the best of times, but even more challenging when you're trying to cheer up a friend or loved one in the hospital. While the hospital can certainly never be as comfortable as home, if you invest a little creativity and forethought into your gift, you can help make your friend more comfortable, brighten his day and help ease his worries.

Creature Comforts

Help your friend or loved one be as comfortable as possible during her hospital stay with a gift that will keep her warm and cozy – or feel a little closer to home. Pick up a pair of fuzzy slippers and a velour housecoat to hide the open-in-the-back hospital gowns. Bring in moisturizers and lip balm to keep her from feeling dry. Present her with a comfortable pillow from home – or one just like it – and the softest blanket you can find. If hospital food tops her list of most intolerable cuisine, bring her something more palatable, like her favorite takeout food, a box of her favorite goodies or a stash of her favorite tea or coffee. Remember to check with her doctor for dietary restrictions first.

Comforting Services

Instead of a gift you can wrap, give your friend or loved one a present that requires a little more effort, and shows how much you care. Pick up massage oils and give him a foot massage that will help to ease his stress and worries. Prepare his favorite meal and bring it in for a private dinner for two. Make a compilation of his favorite music or a disc full of his favorite sitcom shows, along with a media player so he can listen or watch anytime.

On the Run

Tangible gifts might not be the only thing your friend or loved one needs. If the hospitalization was unexpected or she has family obligations, your gift might not cost a dime. Find out what you can do to help ease her mind – it might be the most valuable gift you can give. Offer to watch her kids at home or feed the cats and change the litter. Find out if she needs the dry cleaning picked up or a chauffeur for little league practice. Offer to help out with the cooking and cleaning at home or make sure her bill payments are up to date.

Traditional Offerings

If your friend or loved one is surrounded by pampering loved ones, has all the comforts of home and his to-do list is up to date, show you care with a token or traditional gift. Bring in a bouquet of his favorite flowers, purchase or assemble a gift basket with his favorite snacks, or order a cookie bouquet if he has a sweet tooth. Keep in mind latex restrictions when considering a balloon arrangement and make sure your friend or loved one has no allergy or respiratory issues before bringing flowers.