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Helpful Gifts for Back Surgery Patients

Sadie Holloway likes giving practical yet thoughtful gifts to loved ones. She enjoys hunting around for the best presents she can find.

Here are some thoughtful gift ideas for a friend or family member who has just had back surgery, knee surgery, or hip surgery.

When your friend is finally ready to go home after back surgery, why not surprise her with a practical and thoughtful welcome home gift.

When your friend is finally ready to go home after back surgery, why not surprise her with a practical and thoughtful welcome home gift.

If you have a friend or loved one coming home from the hospital, this list of gifts for people recovering from back, knee, or hip surgery might be useful. These post-surgery gift ideas are inspired by my own experience recovering from major surgery. Each item on this gift list is something that was a true lifesaver while I healed and got better, day by day. I hope one of these presents can help your friend or loved one in their recovery.

Reaching Stick or Grabber Wand

When you finally leave the hospital after major surgery, you're usually given a long list of dos and don'ts while you recover at home. If you're recovering from hip, back, or knee surgery you're often advised to avoid bending down and picking things up off the floor until you've worked with a physiotherapist and started showing signs of greater strength and flexibility. A reacher/ grabber stick can help a post-surgery patient feel a little more independent. Instead of having to ask for help for simple things like picking a pencil up after it rolled off the table, patients can learn to manage a few small tasks with the help of this practical assistive device.

Fresh Fruit Bouquet

Notebooks and Pens

This seems like such a simple gift for someone coming home after surgery, but it's quite a practical idea. When I went home after my surgery, I was overwhelmed by the number of little things I had to keep track of and remember: eating habits, bathroom habits, the number of exercises prescribed by the physiotherapist that I completed, medication schedule, follow-up appointments to make...so many things to do! I kept a notebook by my bedside to track my healthcare data, doodle when I was bored, or write about how I was feeling when I needed to vent and let off steam.

A spiral notebook that can lay flat on a table or tray is better than a hard-bound notebook: it frees one hand up from having to hold the book open while writing. A spiral binding also means the notebook can be folded back on itself to take up less space on the writing surface. When choosing a package of pens to include with the notebook, gel pens and pens with an easy, effortless ink flow are best.

Notebooks for tracking medical appointments and exercise and diet plans are aa simple, but useful, gift for post-surgery patients.

Notebooks for tracking medical appointments and exercise and diet plans are aa simple, but useful, gift for post-surgery patients.

Homemade Comfort Food

For me, the best thing about coming home from the hospital was sleeping in my own bed, in a quiet room. (Hospitals are very noisy places, even in the middle of the night!) The next best thing was being able to eat real, homemade food. If you're visiting a loved one who has just returned from the hospital after orthopedic surgery, call ahead and ask if you can bring a homemade meal or some tasty goodies. I recommend calling ahead so that you can check if the at-home patient has any dietary restrictions while she recovers.) Make sure that your dish is big enough to share, too. The patient's devoted caregiver, in my case my husband, could probably use some comforting nourishment as well. Recovering from surgery is exhausting for the patient, but it's also tiring for those people who love and care for the patient.

Home-cooked meals that are easy to re-heat are a thoughtful gift for someone coming home from the hospital.

Home-cooked meals that are easy to re-heat are a thoughtful gift for someone coming home from the hospital.

Gift Certificates for Dog Walking

For people recovering from surgery, the road back to their regular routine may take a while. Walking long distances or maintaining a steady balance can be a challenge and although the patient may want to get back to their pet care routine as quickly as possible, that might not be a good idea. There's a risk of being pulled off-kilter and knocked down by an excited dog on the end of a leash, which can cause serious injury to someone recovering from a back operation. If you're able to take your friend's dog out for daily walks, that's great. If you can't do it, then contacting a reputable dog walker (if the pet owner doesn't already have one) and buying some gift certificates would be a great post-surgery gift idea.

For pet lovers recovering from surgery, a dog-walking gift certificate that helps them manage their pet care routine safely is a thoughtful idea.

For pet lovers recovering from surgery, a dog-walking gift certificate that helps them manage their pet care routine safely is a thoughtful idea.

A Gentle Reminder

Regardless of what you choose to give someone recovering from surgery, give your gift freely without any expectations for an effusive show of appreciation when your friend opens the gift. Recovering from surgery can be mentally and physically draining and sometimes putting on a happy, joyful face for visitors just isn't possible. Be mindful of not visiting for too long. Try not to ask too many nosy questions or offer medical or health advice, even if you've had surgery too. Spending time in the hospital feels like your life is on display and you have no privacy. Once someone returns from the hospital, let them bask in the feelings of safety and privacy that come with being at home, in familiar surroundings.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2017 Sadie Holloway

Comments

RTalloni on March 02, 2017:

Nice ideas you present here. Adult coloring books could also be a nice gift in such a situation.