At this time of year you will find seasonal blogs telling you what to buy, and not to buy, for friends and loved ones who have an asbestos related disease. We’ve read them for you, so you don’t have to! Here are some suggestions.
Sometimes people lose their appetite, or their tastebuds change, when they have an asbestos related disease. Seasonal food may not have the same appeal that it had last year. Find out what your friend or loved one fancies eating this Christmas and then get them some of that!
When people are finding it hard to enjoy their food, the usual rules about what to eat no longer apply. If they just fancy a cream doughnut instead of Christmas diner, buy or make them some cream doughnuts.
If the person who has the asbestos related disease usually does the cooking, a gift of some ready meals might be welcome. It will give your friend or loved one a break from cooking on the days when they don’t feel so well. But make sure you know their favourite brand. A freezer full of food they don’t like may not be what the dietician ordered!
Something warm and cosy to wear
If your friend or loved one is visiting hospital for regular treatments, tests or check-ups they may find themselves sitting in a draught. A gillet or pullover, warm socks, a cosy blanket or cosy slippers might be just what they need. An extra pair of pyjamas or a new dressing gown might also make a useful gift. Check first that they aren’t allergic to any of the materials.
A journal and some nice pens
This won’t be for everyone, but some people find that, even if they’re not so active as they used to be, they can still enjoy writing down their reflections, or things they want to share with friends and relatives, or their life story. You can also do this on a tablet, or even a phone connected to a bluetooth keyboard. Check your friend or loved one’s preferences before buying them an expensive pen rather than a handy little keyboard or electronic stylus. Writing may not be something they did very much before but jotting things down can be a great help when people’s heads are full of concerns, anxieties and racing thoughts. This is especially true for some people at night.
Hobbies that help pass the time and make life interesting
A similar gift is something your friend or loved one enjoys doing while sitting down. This could be while they are waiting for an appointment or just because they need a rest. Knitting needles and wool work for some people. Colouring books and puzzles work for others. Or it could be the latest book by their favourite author. You will know what the person most likes to do! Think if there is a way you can help them to go on doing it, or enjoying it, for longer.
Cleaning the home
If you’re looking for an expensive present, why not buy your friend or loved one some cleaning sessions for their home? Even if they still want to do their own housework, there comes a point for most of us when we simply don’t have the energy.
Making a donation to their favourite charity
If your friend or loved one asks you to make a donation to their favourite charity you might be tempted to spend a little less than you would have lavished on a perpnal gift for them. But remember, this is what they would like you to do to show them how much you appreciate them.
Spending time together
The gift of time can be especially precious. Your friend or loved one might appreciate a special meal together or an outing to somewhere that means a lot to them. It may depend on how they are feeling, but sometimes people will make a special effort for something that really matters to them. Ask them what they feel up to doing before you buy the tickets!