Hospital Gift Ideas

Deciding on just the right gift for someone in the hospital can be a challenge. This is a guide about hospital gift ideas.

August 16, 2012 Flag

We have had several family members in the hospital lately and I have learned a few things that are good to have on hand for visitors or if a person stays with the patient. Now, when I hear of someone in the hospital, I deliver a "goodie basket" to their room. The contents of the basket are often found more useful to family, especially if it is a serious situation where family is camped out at the hospital.

Many of the items can be found at the dollar store. Items in my basket sometimes are adjusted if I know of diet restrictions or younger children, but basically contain the following:


  1. boxes of granola or breakfast bars

  2. apples, oranges or bananas (3-4 of each or more if a large family)

  3. crossword puzzle book

  4. notebook and pen

  5. pre-made individually wrapped snacks

  6. couple of magazines or newspapers

  7. juiceboxes

  8. board game (checker, etc. can be found at the dollar store)

By April from MO

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August 28, 20120 found this helpful

Great idea!

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December 3, 2014 Flag

If you are visiting someone in hospital, freeze a litre bottle of water (mineral, filtered or plain old tap water according to taste) the night before, and take it in. Freezing may distort the shape of the base slightly, so consider taking in a jug or plant pot in which to stand the bottle, if it will not stand up without support. The water will thaw very gradually, and will provide a refreshingly cold drink over quite a long period of time. Provided that the patient is not nil by mouth, this is so much better than the tepid water jugs provided by the ward!


Source: A shop at Victoria Coach Station (London) had frozen bottles of water on sale to drink on long coach journeys

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July 12, 2000 Flag
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Flowers are always welcomed, but sometimes you may have a person in the hospital with no relatives close by. A telephone calling card will be appreciated, since hospitals and rehabilitation centers will charge long distance calls to your hospital bill

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July 1, 2004 Flag
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I need ideas for a patient who is 21 and had a head trauma case and is now in rehab and needs things to make his stay better


July 3, 20040 found this helpful

Hi Tawnda

We now moderate all feedback posted by guests so it may take a little while for your posts to show up. We had some people posting offensive material the last couple weeks so we decided not to chance it. I added a note that will appear after people post so that it's more clear that it is now moderated.

Thanks for posting!


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July 5, 20040 found this helpful

I don't know if this would be appropriate for your friend in the hospital, depending on the extent of their brain injury, but it worked for me. When I was in the hospital waiting for a heart transplant, my younger sister made me a basket full of small presents, about 14, and I got to open one up each day. You would be surprised at how much fun that is in the hospital when you have very little to look forward to. The presents were small, nail polish, clippers, little Bible cards, hair clips, etc. But the idea of a basket full of presents was pretty cool for me. Good Luck and God bless. susan from CT.

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November 22, 20070 found this helpful

My mother had a head injury about 14 years ago where she was in a ooma for 3 months and has the exact same symptoms as Tawnda sister in-law in the post above. I would recommend a nice notebook or planner where a patient can write things down so they it can help with short term memory items. Hope that helps.

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February 28, 20080 found this helpful

Hi! There is a website called that has adorable designer hospital gowns. I bought one for my neice after her back surgery and she loved it. They have 2 styles and they have lots of different prints to choose from. I bought one in a Lilly Pulitzer fabric and it was totally adorable. The link for the hospital gown website is The lady who took my order said that they will be making children's hospital gowns soon.

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February 28, 20080 found this helpful

January 13, 2005 Flag
0 found this helpful

What can you give a friend whose husband is in hospital. He is now paralized from waist down. His wife has stayed by his side for the past few weeks. What kind of gift can I give her to use/enjoy while staying in hospital with him and what can I give him that he may be able to use?


January 14, 20050 found this helpful

How about music-CD's of favorite artists or if appropriate, inspritational/religious or relaxing music. Target has these great CD's of music and nature sounds. Personal CD player and batteries, if needed. DVD's. Gift certificates for restaurants near the hospital. GC for the wife to get hair done, manicure, massage, etc. Gifts of your time-do chores or errands, laundry, take the wife out for lunch or dinner and LISTEN. If the wife needs help seeking services or equipment once the husband gets home, do the research. If you are handy, or know someone who is, their home will need some accomodations to handle a wheelchair-ramps, widen doorways, etc. Just remember that your frined is till the same guy he was before the accident, just now his legs don't work. He still has the same interests, and need to be with his friends as before.

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January 14, 20050 found this helpful

This just recently happened to a friend of mine also. I went to Starbucks and picked up some different kinds of chocolate. I gave it to her when I saw her at the hospital. It sounds silly, but it really seemed to cheer her.

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January 14, 20050 found this helpful

Hello All!

Try cards, magnetic checkers, yahtzee, or "funny" books to read each other, add a little snack & You have a nice present!

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January 20, 20050 found this helpful

If they have friends and family that are long-distance phone calls, give a pre-paid phone card so they can keep in touch (most hospitals won't let you make long-distance calls). If he's unable to hold books for long, how about books on tape? These don't even have to be purchased -- you can check them out from the public library, let your friend know when they are due back, and YOU pick them up and return them for her. Mow her yard/shovel her walk/ run errands for her. Pre-paid gasoline cards are also a blessing. Do they have pets? Care for the pets, or even take them home with you if that's workable (be the pets' foster parents!) Remember that your friend could probably also use something to do while she's sitting with her husband, who may be sleeping off and on. Suggestions include the usual -- something to read, crossword puzzles -- but what about crafts? Maybe she would find it soothing to do some needlework or knitting. Small cross-stitch kits can be picked up for just a few dollars. She will need your friendship more than ever now and in the future -- just keeping in touch is the best gift you can give!

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May 13, 20100 found this helpful

December 8, 2004 Flag
0 found this helpful

I am taking my children to visit children in the hospital. I would like suggestions of FRUGAL ideas for goodie bags that my children may hand out to those in the hospital. I am on a very tight budget but believe in teaching my children the importance of thinking of others-- this time of year kids often want, want, want! And I want them to realize the needs of others.
Any suggestion would be very welcomed. -Lisa

December 9, 20040 found this helpful


I was going to mention the dollar stores, too. They have packages of toys which commonly have several items inside, and you could put, say, a plastic dinosaur in a boy's bag, play make-up in a girl's bag, etc. Little pads of paper and pencils or markers could also go inside. That's a great idea. Blessings to your family as you give to others in this way.

Trudy Powell

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December 11, 20040 found this helpful

I save all of the samples that I receive throughout the year, plus small items that I get on sale and take them to the hospital for distribution. Walgreen's, especially, has great $.39 sales often on small toys, coloring books and crayons, etc. You could also do a web search for coloring pages and print them out (check for copyright laws).

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December 12, 20040 found this helpful

You and your children can bake cookies together. Homemade cookies are nearly always a welcome treat.

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December 15, 20040 found this helpful

If you are making bags for adults, I suggest:

a pocket pack of tissues


memo pad


small lotion

deck of cards

I agree that you should NOT include any kind of food without checking first -- it's even worse if you give them something they are not allowed, and then it has to be taken away.

I make up "goodie bags" each year for Santa to distribute at our County Home (called the Poor Farm in less politically-correct times!) and these are popular items. I pick things up all year long on sale and stash them away. My goodie bags also include a new pair of stretch gloves (less than $1 each), which of course hospitalized patients would not need -- plus I include sample sizes of shampoo and soap donated by the local Holiday Inn, and toothbrushes and sample size toothpaste donated by local dentists.

Merry Christmas!

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December 12, 20110 found this helpful
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