Buying gifts for a family with a medically fragile child is sometimes difficult. While the traditional gifts of toys, treats and holiday décor are always appreciated, loved ones often want to find something more meaningful or personal. The caregivers at Salus Homecare work with many children with medical concerns or disabilities. One thing we’ve learned in our professional careers is that the most meaningful gifts for these families are things that make their lives easier. If you’re buying gifts for the parents, consider purchasing things that force them to focus on themselves rather than their children. Here are a few ideas.

Gift Cards

Gift cards sometimes seem like they’re the “easy way out”, but they’re also some of the most appreciated gifts you can give to a family. Cards for Amazon or a favorite store allow the parents to treat themselves, especially if you include a note indicating how the card should be used. If you want to get a little more creative, perhaps give a gift certificate for a few hours of housecleaning services, a night out on the town (maybe with babysitting provided by you) even a couple of hours at the spa.

Meal Delivery Service

Every parent hates the dreaded question “what’s for dinner”, and when you have a medically fragile child, that question is even more complex because time is often so limited to prepare healthy meals. A great way to help families to overcome this struggle is by gifting them a meal delivery service. Giving the gift of a few ready prepared or easy to prepare meals each month can make a world of difference and help ease the burdens of day to day life.

Hands on Help

In many cases, the best gift is a gift that lets your friend know you want to be a part of their life. A gift that says, “I am your village.” A wonderful way to accomplish this is by creating cards that the parents can redeem when they need help. You could offer to babysit, attend an IEP meeting, provide transportation to a medical appointment or even do a load or two of dishes. There are many ways to create these types of cards. All will be appreciated, so feel free to get creative.

Respite Care

If you are unable to provide support on your own, perhaps because your own schedule is full or you live to far away, consider a gift of respite care. Having a professional to help take care of a child with medical needs frees the parent up to take care of their own needs, rest or manage other household responsibilities. Getting a few friends together to pay for these services might provide regular help for a few months or even a year. Even if you can’t do that, just a few hours can make a difference. If the parents are already working with a homecare agency, consider connecting with that agency and offering to pay for a month of care, or ask the parents directly how to best help cover this expense.

Giving gifts is an important part of the holiday celebrations. If you have friends who have a child with special needs, those gifts can help to make their lives easier all year long. Salus Homecare wishes you and yours the happiest of holiday seasons full of joy, love and time together.