A thoughtful care package can make all the difference in the world for someone who is staying in the hospital. Not only can a hospital stay be a little bit scary, but sometimes it can be rather lonely. However, sometimes when people are in the hospital it is for a happy occasion, such as having a baby! Either way, something special is likely to make it a better experience. Below is everything you need to know before building your package. Below are not only important considerations for the patient, but also several ideas on what to fill it with to make it special, and helpful too.
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Important things to consider
While this doesn’t cover everything, we want to point out a few things that should be thought about when putting a care package together for someone that has undergone surgery, had a baby, or maybe is there for long-term reasons.
On a personal note, after being diagnosed with type one diabetes when I was 12 years old, the approach my healthcare team took regarding what I ate was different than if I were there for something like a broken arm. Not only did carbohydrates have to be counted, but I had to be taught how to correctly dose insulin to keep my blood sugar under control. During the stay, they monitored all food, ultimately determining what the dosage per gram of carbohydrates should be. This is just one example that may affect whether or not someone can have food outside of the healthcare team’s regimen.
ICU and Other Unit Restrictions
Sometimes when a person is in the intensive care unit, they aren’t able to receive flowers or other gifts while there. Some cancer units don’t allow certain types of balloons. If this is the case, it may be better to plan out something special when they are moved to a regular room, or when they come home.
Allergens can be a really serious thing, if someone around happens to have a nut allergy for example. Those who have kids in school may have had a similar experience if a classmate is allergic to peanut butter. This is definitely something to keep in mind if selecting plants, food, or other potential allergen containing products.
Needless to say, there are a lot of considerations that come into play when bringing a gift to the hospital. The best thing to do is call the facility directly, and discuss what restrictions may apply, and precautions that might need to be taken, given the reason someone is in the hospital. You may be able to bring food, or you might be directed to lean more toward books, blankets or funny pictures. Know before you go!
Better Fruit Snacks
Take fruit snacks to the next level, with zero waste morsels of goodness, that contain more vitamins and nutrients, and lots of satisfying texture. Oranges, kiwi, strawberries -– you name it. Fruit transforms from a perishable, messy snack, to something that’s really fun and cheerful.
Derived from grass fed beef raised in Australia, these jerky sticks have totally redefined the meat snacks that less healthy brands might’ve ruined for us as kids. Already delicious, the humanely sourced meat is gently seasoned, and the original version isn’t terribly spicy. These convenient snack sticks are Paleo, and gluten-free.
Cake! But Healthy
Since rules can vary a lot depending on why someone might be in the hospital, and where exactly they are within the hospital, having a snack that’s totally allergen friendly is a good idea. And chickpeas are actually the core ingredient, and you would never know by tasting the indulgent treat. Naturally colored sprinkles and white chocolate chips add a festive touch.
Kids Snack Club
Kids Snack Club puts together a compilation of exciting, yet healthy goodies that appeal to young ones, every month. From jerky turkey sticks, fruit flavored water, gummy snacks with sneaky ingredients like beets, to organic candy, this is simply a box full of joy. You can purchase one box, or a several month subscription. This can be a great idea if someone is in the hospital long term.
Pirates Booty is that crunchy snack that is made with ultra simple ingredients, like cornmeal and real aged white cheddar. Think “Cheetos“ but without artificial colors and so on. The snack is gluten-free, and peanut free. Thrive Market has a seemingly infinite amount of allergen friendly, and diet specific snacks. You can send someone a gift box full of goodies if you have a Thrive membership.
Plants & Flower Alternatives
Flowers don’t last forever, and some places won’t even allow them due to allergy issues. Fortunately, neither of those things are an issue with these stunningly hand blown glass flowers, artisan- made in Mexico. From daffodils, to daisies, there is one to represent each birth month. The whimsical figures glimmer in the sunlight, adding vibrancy to someone’s hospital room.
Lollipops and flowers just go together, as these all-natural botanical flavors on seed-filled sticks demonstrate. Eat the lolli, enjoy herb filled flavors like strawberry basil, and plant the stick! We love that the plants produced are often edible themselves. The set of eight includes the following: Sage & marshmallow (grow sage), 1 Lavender & lemongrass (grow lavender), 1 Peach & marigold (grow marigold), 1 Strawberry & basil (grow basil), 1 Champagne & roses (grow rosetta cosmo), 1 Rosemary & mint (grow mint), 1 Lemon & thyme (grow thyme), and 1 Vanilla & hibiscus (grow baby blue eyes).
Unfortunately, flowers can sometimes be associated with sad events, for some people. Succulents are a quirky and out-of-the-box alternative that can make a room feel more lively and upbeat. Succulents are extremely low maintenance, making them easier to transport from the hospital, to home. While it’s the luck of the draw when it comes to which succulents you might get, you can choose between a gold rimmed blue, or rainbow pot.
Paint now, plant later! Coming with everything you need to create an artistic display on the exterior of the planter, the kit also has soil discs and seeds that will produce Marigold, Cosmos, and Zinnia flowers. Of course, the flowers might could be planted in the hospital, and they only take a few days to start sprouting up!
Reading can completely take us out of the world we are in, and transport us to some other thrilling or magical place. By gifting the Nook Glowlight, the recipient can store thousands of books on this one tablet. Adjusting to light, day or night, reading anytime is an option. The silky touch exterior is pleasant and easy to hold while reading.
Creativity in aBox
KiwiCo offers a wide variation of boxes, that contain all kinds of activities. Select boxes that offer more of a scientific experience, or something on the creative side. Having something to do sure does make hours in the hospital go by much faster. When looking through the different options, there will also be age specifications on each one.
We are so glad adult coloring has become a thing! Can you think back to when you were a kid, and coloring was just a relaxing activity that got your mind off of things? Grown-ups will likely enjoy getting creative with this Mandalorian gift set, with both graphic and fine tip markers.
Pre-occupying Party Planning
If your loved one is an event planner, they might appreciate being able to get their mind on the next big gathering, while they get through their hospital stay. Anthropologie offers this adorable deck of cards, that has super creative ways to create the ultimate cheese and charcuterie boards. Flipping through these cards is not only fun, but inspirational for the inner entertainer.
While you’ll likely need to check with the healthcare provider, having something other than hospital soap will likely lift the spirits. With the smells of sage, lavender, lemongrass and patchouli, these bars of soap also deliver ultra moisturizing benefits at the same time. Simple ingredients come together in this organic, vegan and non-GMO set.
So this blending sponge is just super adorable! Whether tossing him in a gift basket, or pairing with a colorful make up set, he epitomizes the word “cheer”.
Those who have slept on a hospital pillow know how valuable a really good, comfy, cooling pillow would feel during a stay. This unique cube shape is ideal for side sleepers, and it helps eliminate neck and back pain.
Give them something super comfy and cozy to put on over the hospital gown. L.L. Bean has been a solid go to for clothing since the early 1900s. We like the traditional presentation of this flannel bathrobe for men. Multiple colors and patterns are available, and after almost 2000 customer reviews, the product is rated at 4 1/2 stars, approximately.
Nourishing Hand Soap
This volcano soap and lotion gift set helps nourish hands with shea butter and other high-quality ingredients. Tropical fruit, and earthy mountain greens come together to create the “volcano“ sent. The elegant golden caddy also comes with the set.
Brighten up the room with this ultra bold striped throw, with colors of purple, red and blue that all contrast beautifully. The blanket is made out of acrylic and cotton and the reviews tout it as being warm and super soft.
Yeti cups are the Mercedes-Benz of reusable drinking containers. They’ll keep hot tea warm for hours, and iced tea chilled seemingly all day. A good cup can be a great idea in a hospital setting, rather than having to use a plastic or foam option. Also available on Amazon.
I Heart Guts is a company that has made just about every organ imaginable, in adorable stuffed toy form. We couldn’t think of a better “cherry on top“ to a hospital care package. The organs are very cartoon like, while being surprisingly somewhat anatomically accurate. Uncommon Goods offers a popular handful of options, but the I Heart Guts website has the full selection: Brain
heart, kidney, uterus, gall bladder, bladder, liver, lung, pancreas, spleen, stomach.