Newswise — Luxury gifts are all very nice, but for the 133 million Americans living with chronic conditions, the best holiday gift is something that will make navigating the daily routine easier.
“Sweaters, pajamas, candy and perfume are all lovely, traditional and thoughtful gifts, but if you want to really show somone who has health problems that you are concerned about their well being, check out your local pharmacy for gifts they’ll use every day,” said Debbie Jansky, assistant nurse manager, Home Health Services, at Gottlieb Memorial Hospital.
Jansky and her team of 35 registered nurses, therapists, social workers and home health aides make about 1,600 home visits each month to those who have a need for skilled nursing or physical therapy in their home. “It’s very sad to see patients receive gifts of expensive perfume or cardigans that they will never enjoy because they can’t open the bottle or unbutton the buttons,” said Jansky.
“These are the items I recommend regularly, and are used and appreciated every day,” she said.
Here are Jansky’s top picks for holiday gifts:
• Medication Organizers $1.50 - $10. Help Grandma keep track of her pills. Available in all sizes (daily, weekly) and shapes, these tools will give the whole family peace of mind that the right pill is being taken at the right time.
Pill Cutter-$3. Many pills and tablets need to be halved or quartered – these handy devices offer precise cutting with minimal effort.
Pill Punch - $8. “Many medications come in a multi-punch card that those with arthritis have trouble with manipulating,” said Clark Chrisman, pharmacist at Gottlieb. “The pill punch easily pushes the individual pill through the sealed packaging.”
• ID Bracelet – $7 and up. A simple piece of jewelry alerts medics to important medical information such as allergies to penicillin, congestive heart failure or diabetes.
• Item Grabber - $28. A sturdy claw-like hand tool that can be used to retrieve the box of crackers from the top shelf or a slipper that got kicked too far under the couch.
• Adjustable cane - $27. This handsome, black cane compresses to a 5-inch-long stick – much like a collapsible umbrella. D iscreetly place in a purse or coat pocket, it can be quickly and easily assembled to provide support when they need it most.
• Medicool - $45. Keep insulin or other medications cool and organized for easy application.
• Rollator - $160. A luxurious walker with high-quality wheels and brakes, with a basket for shopping and a handy bench to stop and rest.
• Compression stockings - $12 - $124. “From those with leg circulation problems to those who are on their feet all day for work, or who fly frequently, compression stockings help increase blood circulation in legs and provide comfort,” said Clark.
• Sock donner - $25. “This simple tool makes putting on socks or compression hose a breeze and helps to increase independence in dressing,” said Chrisman.
• Accessible bathroom aids – $27 - $100. Handheld water sprayers, toilet seat benches and bathtub safety rails may look insignificant in their box, but install them in the bathroom, and you have created a safe haven that will be used, well, regularly.