The Arthritis NewsletterWinter 2019
Holiday gift for someone with arthritis?
The holidays are always a busy time. When you have arthritis, the holidays can often be overwhelming – especially when you add pain, fatigue, depression, and other symptoms. If you have someone with arthritis on your gift list, here are just a few gift ideas recommended by our Arthritis Patient Advisory Board (APAB) members. These are gifts that could bring a loved one comfort for the holidays and the year ahead.
Fitness and Activity Trackers
Exercise and movement is incredibly important when you have arthritis. However, there are often barriers that can make moving around difficult. For some people living with arthritis, exercise can sometimes bring on a flare.
Fitness and activity trackers such as a Fitbit, Apple Watch or any form of activity tracker can be helpful to adding those extra steps into someone’s day or activity. Tracking activity can be especially motivating and helpful and the benefits of movement are always rewarding. As each person with arthritis is unique, we recommend working with a healthcare professional, such as a physiotherapist to help develop a routine that is specific to individual needs.
Hand and Feet Warmers
For people living with arthritis and in particular Raynaud’s syndrome, hand warmers make a great gift. These gifts may seem simple but they can bring a lot of comfort to a loved one in the cold winter months by bringing warmth and promoting circulation.
Adaptive Kitchen Tools and Gadgets
During the holidays, the kitchen is often the place to be. But for someone living with arthritis, kitchen activities can be daunting. Adaptive kitchen tools and gadgets can make a big difference. Some helpful tools and gadgets you may want to consider giving, include:
- Electric can and jar openers
- Lemon squeezers
- Battery-operated salt and pepper shakers
- Utensils with bigger, rubber grips
Adapted kitchen tools and gadgets can make day to day kitchen tasks much easier for someone with arthritis in their hands, fingers, elbows, or shoulders. Adaptive kitchen tools may be found at ArthritisSupplies.com, Amazon, and Bed, Bath & Beyond.
It doesn’t get any easier than a gift card. Consider gift cards that are helpful to someone living with arthritis – such as, meal prep services, exercise classes, or a 1:1 physiotherapy session. Not only are these gifts easy to open but they can also be sent electronically, which is great for those who live out of town. It is important to remember that the simple task of opening a gift that has been wrapped with paper and ribbon can be painful and difficult for someone with arthritis. Consider instead using a gift bag which may be easily opened.
The Gift of Time and Companionship
Christmas can be a lonely time of year for anyone who doesn’t have family or loved ones nearby. Consider giving the gift of time and companionship. Spending time with someone for coffee, a simple visit, or accompanying them to a social gathering – can make the holiday season more joyous. You may also consider helping with a chore, grocery shopping, assisting them with decorating for the holidays. For someone struggling with the pain of arthritis any of these would be a welcomed gift, that doubles in ticking off items on their to do list.
We hope you find this list helpful in making the holidays less overwhelming and filled with more joy and comfort for loved ones living with arthritis.
Special thanks to APAB members Jon Collins, Alison Hoens, Sadiq Jiwa, Isla Steele, and Philippa Tattersall for contributing to this article.