It is a difficult dilemma to know what to give to a friend or family member who is sick or going into the hospital. You want to choose something that will help him or her feel better – and rightly so, because when someone is happy and optimistic, he or she will recover more easily.

Get well gifts are a way to show someone that you really care, and to give them a sense of encouragement and support on their way to recovery. In order to make it personal, think about the person and what their interests are. It is easy for a sick person to feel defined by their illness in the cold impersonal of setting of medical processing. A get well gift is meant to make the recipient feel cherished, happy and more comfortable in their environment. As thus, your gift will be a boost to the sick person’s emotional and physical healing.

Below are 7 of the best gifts to give to a hospitalized, sick or recovering person.

  • A Journal: Writing their thoughts and feelings can be extremely beneficial to someone who is going through a difficult time. Often, a private journal is the only place where a person feels safe expressing their feelings, hopes and fears. Journaling has long been a healing tool.


  • Food and Eatable Treats: Hospital food is pretty horrible and your sick friend will appreciate a delicious treat. Be sure to check if they have dietary restrictions first though. Whether you cook up something yourself, bring a mini picnic, fruits, sweets or something else, your gift will be a nice change and happy surprise.


  • Movies:  A gift membership to an online DVD rental service is a wonderful gift, so your recovering friend can receive movies through the mail. Gift memberships can be purchased for one month up to a year. Local libraries also have movies that you can check out and take to your sick person; this would also assure the gift of your presence when you stop by to pick up and drop off the movies.


  • Games: Sudoku and crossword puzzles are a couple of games that can be played by a single person. If the sick person has a laptop, there are many options for diverting and enjoyable games which will help the time pass more quickly


  • Books, Magazines and Comics: Find out what your friend or family member like to read; a book by his or her favorite author would be a thoughtful gift. There are a large variety of magazines available to suit almost any interest, and comic books are good for a bit of humor. Books on tape are another option.


  • Flowers, Balloons and Cards: These are time honored gifts which are perfect for cheering up a sick person. These gifts make the room prettier and friendlier. The recipient will enjoy the natural beauty of the flowers and appreciate the encouraging message from your card.


  • Comfortable PJ’s or Clothing: When looking for these gifts, look for comfort, fit and use. You want the outfit to be comfortable and soft to the touch. You also want to look for outfits that will be comfortable when lying down, so loose fitting pants with a draw string waist works well. It is important  to look for what the person receiving the gift will need. If the person in the hospital or extended care, a personalized designer hospital gown would be perfect. This is a fun gift that can really reflect the recipient’s personal style. When selecting a size, always go safe and choose a size up from what you think the person might be.


The most important gift that you can make for your sick friends and relatives is the gift of you. Be a stable, reliable presence in your friend’s life. Give them your moral support and attention. Talk about life, what is going on in the world, funny stories etc. Laugh, chat, and share as you normally would. Remember that a person is not defined by illness. They are still the same friend to you and want to continue to do their part in the give and take of friendship.

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About Audrey Fleming

Audrey Fleming is the founder of Healing Gowns; she is motivated by a real life experience and the desire to make life a little better, a little easier.
  • Fran

    Here’s a cool idea that my wife and I have found. It’s a “Big Hug”. This always seems to bring a smile to whomever we have given them to. Such a cool idea and they seem age appropriate to all. Check them out for yourself. Their website is A really neat idea.