This holiday season, many people take a break from their work, leaving early or coming in late. There is one group of people who don’t have that luxury. Chronic pain conditions are year-round and don’t know what it means to take a vacation, for both the patient and their caregiver. This holiday season, take some time to find the perfect gift for the chronic pain patient or one that honors the superhero caregiver in your life.
Chronic pain patients benefit greatly from massage. Not only does gentle, steady pressure loosen tight muscles and stimulate acupressure points that may help relieve pain, but it also stimulates the lymph nodes and moves toxins out of the body. Foot and hand massages are especially welcome, even when there is pain in the rest of body.
For caregivers, massage can be a full-body treat, especially if care involves lifting and moving the patient. Caregivers also often spend many hours hunched over medical forms and paperwork. Massage loosens tight, sore shoulders and relieves pain in the upper and middle back. Chronic care of any type, even when done willingly and with love, can be very stressful. The gift of massage can be a wonderful break to soothe and relax the body.
Movies and books
As days get colder and nights get longer, internal clocks move more slowly and we tend to be less active. This cold weather can exacerbate pain conditions, and sometimes it just makes sense to spend a restorative day on the couch, watching a movie.
Try out a Netflix or HuluPlus subscription for the chronic pain patient in your life, or sign them up for a subscription to a monthly book. For a chronic pain caregiver, movie gift cards are a great way to offer them the opportunity for a break. Offer to take over for an afternoon, and send them to a movie for a couple of hours.
A delicious dinner
For chronic pain patients who love to cook, there are gifts to help make cooking tasks easier. OXO Good Grips tools have padded, ergonomic handles that are easier for arthritic hands to operate. Additionally, a good jar, can, and bottle opener can make all the difference for a cook with chronic pain, as can a comfortable kitchen mat. This is a gift for both patient and caregiver!
Escape from reality
This one is just for caregivers. Taking care of a chronic pain patient is a marathon, not a sprint. It is important that caregivers take good care of themselves, and sometimes that means taking a break.
Keep an eye out for weekend escapes that pop up on Living Social and Groupon. Often, special weekend deals will be offered, like a wine-tasting weekend with lodging, or a beach break. These small breaks can be a lifesaver and prevent caregiver burnout.
As the holiday approaches, think of gifts for chronic patients and their caregivers that offer comfort and rest. What gifts are on your holiday list?
Image by JD Hancock via Flickr