The Holiday Gift Giving Guide

Health & Wellness Tips
The Holiday Gift Giving Guide Photo

HEPA Filter Air Purifier with a No-Ozone UV Light

Patients undergoing chemotherapy treatments have weakened immune systems. A quality HEPA air purifier / HEPA air cleaner with a non-ozone producing (UV) ultraviolet light system will remove viruses, bacteria, mold, and fungi pathogens from the air that could cause infection.

Cool Air Humidifier

Xerostomia (dry mouth)/thick saliva is a side effect of some chemotherapies- using a cool-mist humidifier at home will help moisten the air.

Cozy Throw

Give a warm hug that’s COVID safe. Throw blankets will not only keep your loved ones warm during the long days of winter but will also cozy-up their living space. They also make great gifts to bring to treatment. Infusion centers are always cold and while they do have blankets for patients, it’s nice to have your own. You can even have them personalized with pictures.

Portable, handheld gaming devices

A portable, handheld gaming device is a great way to pass the time for the gamer in your life who’s sidelined by treatment or surgery. Playing video games serve as a distraction and may exercise their brain and help them combat confusion, memory loss, and other treatment-related side effects. The more immersive the game the better.

Books & Fancy Pens/Pencils & Highlighters

Snuggling up with a good book provides comfort, inspiration, and support. Novels, adult coloring books, journals, planners, and inspirational books are all great ideas. Reading and writing serve as therapeutic tools, while a planner can help them map out a schedule and their goals for the week, in addition to writing down any medical appointments or reminders.
Cookbooks can help patients navigate their dietary needs and create wholesome meals at home they will love. Our nutritionist loves Holly Clegg’s Eating Well Through Cancer - The recipes are easy to follow and the book offers some good tips (side effect specific) as well.

8 Pocket Expanding Document File Folders Organizer

This is a great gift to give to someone for their first appointment at NYCBS. He/She will meet with multiple practitioners (Doctor, Nurse, Nurse Practitioner, Unit Coordinator, Nutritionist, Social Worker, etc.) and get a lot of information. This will help someone organize all pertinent materials (handouts, pamphlets, etc.) and feel less overwhelmed.

Assorted flavors of anti-nausea lozenges (green tea with lemon, ginger, banana)

Nausea and vomiting are some of the worst of many horrible chemo side effects. Queasy Drops or Tummy Drops are good to have on hand should a wave of nausea overtake them. Keep in mind that these should be considered in addition to and not instead of prescription antiemetic (antinausea) medication for anyone experiencing these chemo-induced side effects. Sugar-free lemon drops may help a bit with dry mouth

High-quality Blender

Sometimes cancer patients just won’t feel like eating. A blender can help prepare simple, delicious smoothies so they never forgo nourishment. Any type is fine - whether it’s a Vitamix or a single-serving Ninja Bullet. Nutrition impact symptoms such as decreased appetite, early satiety, taste changes, amongst others, can prevent cancer patients from getting all the calories, protein, and other nutrients they need during treatment. Many patients have an easier time drinking their calories - smoothies are a great way to help optimize nutrition and can be custom-made to each person’s preference (milkshake, juice) and nutrient needs.

Indoor vegetables or herb plants

With a cancer diagnosis, one loses a sense of control, growing a plant will help one gain back some sense of control by being the nurturer. And then you can share and eat the fruits of your labor.

Basket of Kitchen Gadgets

  • Grippers (especially helpful if a patient has neuropathy)
  • Gloves (with grips) - patients on chemotherapy treatment Oxaliplatin have to be cautious and avoid anything cold
  • Nice set of oven mitts - with grippers as well
  • Electric can opener - helpful if the patient has decreased hand strength
  • A food thermometer is a small, handy gadget that tests the doneness of meat, poultry, and fish so you don’t have to cut into the food! Food safety precautions are important for everyone, but even more so for cancer patients who are likely to be immunocompromised.
  • Glass meal prep storage containers in various sizes. Fatigue is a common symptom of cancer treatments. Make-ahead meals to have tasty grab-and-go options in the refrigerator or freezer helps. See-through containers serve as a visual reminder of what foods you have close at hand.
  • Cute “bag or cooler bag” to pack drinks and snacks in for chemo days.
  • 32oz insulated water bottle

Make daily water intake simple and cute. Insulated water bottles are one of those trends that are totally worth it!! They keep beverages at a consistent temperature and are completely durable. Many cancer patients run the risk of dehydration; having a visual around serves as a reminder to drink.

Small, handheld weights (e.g., 2, 3, or 4 pounds) and stretch bands

Lightweights and resistance bands can help with in-home strength-training. It is imperative to maintain lean muscle mass during cancer treatment. It helps with immune function, ability to tolerate treatment, overall quality of life, etc.

Hat, Scarf, or Compression Socks

These can all be super stylish and help patients feel more comfortable. Compression socks will also help with leg swelling.

Gift cards

Think food delivery, hair salon, grocery services, rideshare apps, like uber—options that can ease the patient’s burden. Traveling to and from home for cancer treatments can be time-consuming and tiring for both the patient and caregiver. A nice idea for a group of people looking to chip in - A “meal service delivery” for a certain amount of time (e.g., duration of treatment) or, a gift card to their favorite restaurant can take away the burden of having to grocery shop and cook.

Firewood

If they have a fireplace or fire pit, firewood is a great gift to warm up their body and soul.

Being Present

What better gift than the gift of time. Sometimes all a patient needs is someone to listen and offer advice or tell them what to do or how to do it.