Wednesday, December 24, 2014

HOLIDAY TIPS: What To Give As Gifts To Chronically Ill People That Doesn't Involve Shopping

Courtesy of the University of Kansas Hospital

KANSAS CITY, KAN. — Turning Point, the center for hope and healing, Kansas City’s highly respected patient support organization, is offering gift tips this holiday for families facing serious that don’t have to do with shopping.

Turning Point patients say the holidays are a difficult time when dealing with a serious illness.

Friends often want to do more for them during the holidays but don’t know what to do.
Sami Papacek, Wellness Program Development Manager at Turning Point, said the first thing friends and other family members need to do is take the initiative to contact the family and make something happen.

Whether it is an appropriate gift or an offer to provide a service, Papacek said families facing illness often feel they don’t want to impose on others.  So, Papacek said it is up to other people to make the offer.

Secondly, Papacek urged friends to think basic life needs when deciding on a gift.  Offering to run errands for the family or help with shopping and wrapping can be more welcome than a gift in a box.

However, Papacek warned that gifts such as candy or plants often are prohibited from the houses of ill patients for health reasons.

Third, Papacek says it is important to think beyond the disease in the family.  Ill people know they are sick; giving a gift that draws attention to it such as a book on the disease or jewelry mentioning the disease can be counterproductive.

Instead, think of gift that give the patients joy such as warm clothing, a massage or a different type of game or activity the patient can do.

Using classes, activities and education for people of all ages at its Leawood facility, Turning Point provides significant support for patients, their families and caregivers on an outpatient basis and after they leave the hospital, delivering a continuum of care which impacts healing both physically and emotionally, which is even more important during the holidays.

Turning Point serves more than 8,000 people a year. Even though Turning Point is part of The University of Kansas Hospital, it depends on philanthropy to provide its services at no charge to patients, families and caregivers.