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Gifts Ideas For Cancer Patients


  • Short visits (Due to treatment cancer patients may be very tired so don’t spend too long visiting)
  • Letters and emails (Spend some time focusing on the positive aspects of your relationship with this person.)
  • Phone calls (Again be mindful of the amount of time you spend.)
  • Be a good listener.
  • Ease up on expectations and commitments. (Do not expect the patient to travel during this time or bake large quantities of traditional holiday foods)

Gifts of Time

  • Treat them to lunch.
  • Treat them to a movie.
  • Take them on a visit to a park or botanical gardens.
  • Assist with daily tasks
    • Help with the laundry or ironing
    • Send or prepare a meal. Arrange a schedule of meal delivery with a group of friends.
    • Offer transport to and from treatments
    • Provide child care
    • Shop for groceries and gifts
    • Wrap gifts
    • Help decorate their home
    • Help with holiday baking and cooking

Material Gifts

  • Cancer related books
  • Uplifting books
  • Cancer related nutrition books
  • Books on their favourite hobby or interest
  • Bookmarks with uplifting sayings on them.
  • A selection of magazines
  • Portable Music CD player (This is useful for the patient while in the hospital.)
  • Music CDs
  • DVDs – choose entertaining or uplifting films.
  • Books on tape/CDs
  • Answering Machine (This helps to maintain some control over precious time at home)
  • A small stuffed animal or toy. (This is helpful for adults and children alike)
  • Hats, scarves, baseball caps, wide brimmed sun hats. (Helpful for patients who are losing their hair due to chemotherapy).
  • A personal calendar
  • Electronic games to pass time in the hospital.
  • Cell phone airtime (Include a note that they may call you any time they feel like they need a little “pick me up”)
  • Special drinking mugs
  • A quiet activity to occupy their time such as a scrap book kit, puzzles, cards or board games.
  • Easy-to-move luggage with wheels for trips to the hospital
  • Slippers
  • Dressing gown
  • Fashionable pyjamas
  • Comfortable clothing (soft fabric and not too tight)
  • Pot plants

Personal Items

  • Gift certificate for a massage, facial, or manicure
  • Shower and bath products
  • Body Lotion (Water and aloe based lotions are helpful for patients undergoing radiation therapy)
  • Aromatherapy
  • A donation to a special charity or organization in their name.
  • A journal or diary to help organise their thoughts and reflect on the experience.

Source: Oncolink

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