Best gifts to give a heart patient

14 Dec

by Carolyn Thomas  @HeartSisters

I came across a brilliantly helpful list of Christmas gift ideas for those living with arthritis, and this made me wonder if you might need some inspiration about what to get that special heart patient on your gift list – at Christmastime or for any occasion.

Personally, I’m hoping Santa stuffs a new electric heating pad into my stocking, hint, hint. But I decided to turn to my always generous-of-spirit heart sisters and ask these heart disease survivors:  “What’s on your Christmas wish list this year?” Here are 20 of their informed responses . . .

  • 1.  I’d love a gift certificate for a relaxing massage.
  • 2.  How about a brand new car with heated seats?!    :-)
  • 3.  A gift card to a local pharmacy and a monogrammed pillbox in a favourite colour.
  • 4.  The ever-popular nitro necklace - I always wanted to bedazzle one to make it pretty!
  • 5.  The Mediterranean Cookbook from Williams-Sonoma or Bonnie Stern’s Heart-Smart Cooking for heart healthy food.
  • 6.  A pretty, gorgeous, charming MedicAlert bracelet or necklace that you actually feel upbeat when wearing (gift certificates available). Ed note: I also like the colourful silicone wrist bands from RoadID - great for engraving name, heart condition, and In-Case-Of-Emergency phone numbers.
  • 7.  I always ask for workout clothes. I can do anything better if I have new clothes to do it in!  Also, new athletic shoes.
  • 8.  I’d give anything for a Wii Fit – any wealthy donors out there?
  • 9.  I have actually asked my folks to help me pay for my cardiac rehabilitation; this is a real need for me right now, so I’m asking that any money for Christmas gifts go to my rehab fund instead. (Years ago I never would have asked for something like this!!!)
  • 10.  Some blank notecards with a heart motif so I can send out thank you notes for all the nice gifts I’ll be getting after Santa sees this wish list.
  • 11.  A food processor –  to help prepare all those heart-healthy meals!
  • 12.  Cooking classes – another great idea to help us make great heart-healthy food.
  • 13.  Anything from the WomenHeart Store at the National Coalition for Women With Heart Disease - from Red Dress note cards to Tart Cherry Pancake Mix with Fibre (and proceeds help to support WomenHeart advocacy and education programs)
  • 14.  A zipper so they can stop cutting!!!  (an in-joke among repeat open heart surgery survivors)
  • 15.  Post-it notes so I can write down ideas, tasks & messages and leave them around the house for when my mind evicts them, so I can figure out where I’m supposed to be or what I’m supposed to be doing.
  • 16.  How about a pretty red dress, or red blouse or red scarf to celebrate living and thriving with heart disease?
  • 17.  I just found the dreamiest silky soft pashmina scarf: creamy white, light weight and feels so warm, feminine and cozy. too. Pashminas can be dressed up or down, worn loosely or folded in half before draping. As a heart girl with cold weather angina, I love lightly covering my chest with the protection of a scarf “that doesn’t make me look sick”.
  • 18.  A cleaning lady who cleans and helps with decorating (mine put the tree up for me) or a few hours with “Driving Miss Daisy”, a chauffeur service for those who don’t drive.
  • 19.  Lunch out with all the family during the holiday so no one has to cook or clean, just enjoy our time together before they have to go back to their corners of the world, and a new family photo.
  • 20.  What I would like this Christmas is time with my family, a hug and kiss from each of them. To me these things are priceless and don’t cost a thing.  Health and happiness have no price tag. Take time to tell your family and friends that you love them. Maybe peace on earth would be a good thing too.

♥  UPDATE: Add these two wonderful books to this wish list:

And for a lovely holiday break for yourself, here’s one of my (non-commercial) favourites: a surprise flash mob chorus of Handel’s Messiah performed for Christmas shoppers in the Welland Seaway Mall food court (near my own hometown of St. Catharines, Ontario).

Looking for a low-stress heart-healthy Christmas brunch recipe to make for the heart patient in your life?  Try my favourite Blueberry Almond French Toast recipe that you whip together the night before!

If you or somebody you know has been diagnosed with heart disease, visit the WomenHeart online support community:

Together we're better - WomenHeart Support Community

Please note: this list of gift ideas is based on voluntary contributions from several survivors and does NOT represent any commercial endorsement on my part.

Q:  What’s your own favourite gift suggestion for heart patients?

10 Responses to “Best gifts to give a heart patient”

  1. Ty Go December 1, 2012 at 10:22 pm #

    And isn’t this perfect timing? I’d much prefer to shop for something that heart attack survivors themselves have put on Santa’s wish list! Thx alot for this Carolyn – love your very helpful site!

    Like

  2. Best Gifts January 14, 2012 at 3:57 am #

    Hello there, You’ve done an excellent job here. I will personally suggest to my friends. I’m confident they will benefit from this gift list.

    Like

  3. RN in NYC November 28, 2011 at 5:49 pm #

    And not a moment too soon to get my hands on this useful list. Thanks so much – I love the idea that these suggestions came from real live heart patients themselves. I’ll be sharing this with our clinic staff.

    Like

  4. Dr. Bob November 21, 2011 at 3:23 am #

    Thx for this very useful gift suggestion list – will post this in my office for our patients (and their family members!) to see.

    Like

  5. Keith L. November 8, 2011 at 6:37 am #

    Excellent website. … http://www.myheartsisters.org

    Like

  6. Tyler December 29, 2010 at 11:18 am #

    Hello and Happy Holidays, Carolyn! I just wanted to let you know that after I read this post recently, it really helped me in choosing some Xmas gifts for my sister, who at the age of 32 has suffered a Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection (SCAD) – which you wrote about recently too JUST IN TIME to pass the article around our whole family, perfect timing, THANK YOU!! Your Xmas gift suggestions were bang on – our family split the list so my sister ended up getting about half a dozen of your ideas and LOVED every single one.

    Thanks again – I hope you enjoyed a wonderful holiday season and maybe Santa brought a few of the great gifts on this list for you, too!

    Like

  7. Yava January 17, 2010 at 1:21 am #

    I’ve added HEART SISTERS to my bookmarks.

    Good job getting this helpful list compiled for us; wishing you a great New Year!

    Cheers,
    Yava

    Like

  8. John January 16, 2010 at 1:23 am #

    I’ve been reading your posts for awhile, and this useful Xmas gift idea list convinced me to subscribe.

    Thanks again!

    Like

  9. Eddie B. January 15, 2010 at 11:23 am #

    Very helpful ideas – not just for Christmas, but birthdays or ‘just because’ days.

    Thanks so much – your website is a goldmine of great ideas and so thought-provoking for those of us with a family history of heart disease.

    I’m going to subscribe to your new update postings. Well done – love your site!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Eddie B.

    Like

  10. Elena Hearde January 13, 2010 at 1:21 am #

    I just wanted to let you know how helpful this article was in our family this past Christmas! Great ideas – all were a big hit!

    Thank you!

    Like

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