Below you’ll find a roundup of the best gifts for stroke patients — from stocking stuffers to meaningful, premium gadgets. Whether you’re shopping for someone’s birthday or getting a (really) early start on Christmas shopping, these stroke recovery gifts are guaranteed to please.
We’ll start with small gifts that show appreciation without breaking the bank. Then we’ll round up the best premium stroke recovery gadgets that can help your loved one step up their at-home recovery regimen.
Small Gift Ideas for Stroke Patients
The best gifts for stroke patients don’t have to be expensive. Sometimes a small, thoughtful gift can help a loved one know that you are thinking about them and you understand what they are going through.
Here are some small and simple gift ideas for someone who has had a stroke:
1. Essential Oils
Statistically, 1 in 3 stroke patients struggle with depression, and jasmine essential oil may provide at least some relief. This is an easy gift for stroke patients that provides simple comfort. If your loved one doesn’t already have an essential oil diffuser, that could make a great accompanying gift, too!
2. Healing & Happiness After Stroke
Of all the stroke recovery books available, Healing & Happiness After Stroke focuses on positive psychology the most. If your loved one struggles with depression or anxiety, this book can make a great stocking stuffer.
3. Book Holders
Image from KnockOnWoodUA from Etsy
Speaking of books, if your loved one struggles with impaired hand function after stroke, they may appreciate some wooden book holders. We encourage you to educate your loved one that book holders are compensation techniques. They don’t encourage recovery because they provide a “shortcut” to help get something done, like reading.
While there’s nothing wrong with compensation, especially when it improves your quality of life, it’s important to keep in mind that regular therapy and rehabilitation are the best ways to ensure that recovery continues. In other words, remind your loved one to enjoy the book holder but don’t stop doing hand therapy exercises to promote recovery.
4. Magnesium Oil
Magnesium oil can be used for self-massage, which improves blood circulation and may help prevent post-stroke complications like contractures. It’s superior to other massage oils because many people are deficient in magnesium, and magnesium plays a role in neuromuscular function.
5. Stroke Recovery Vitamins
Is your loved one getting all their essential vitamins for a healthy recovery from stroke, like vitamin C and DHA? If not, supplements can be a helpful gift for stroke patients. Be sure to check with their doctor first because some supplements can exacerbate preexisting medical conditions. For instance, omega-3’s thin the blood and they should never be taken by someone with a history of hemorrhagic stroke. Always proceed with caution and check with a doctor first.
6. Pill Box Organizer
Speaking of medication, where is your loved one going to put their new pills and organize any existing medication? A pill box organizer can make a great gift for stroke patients, particularly if they take pills at certain times in the day. It’s a particularly great gift for someone that struggles with memory after stroke, since a pill box shows when something has been taken.
Premium Gifts for Stroke Patients that Boost Recovery
Stroke recovery can be extremely expensive. There are many gadgets for stroke patients available, but due to higher price tags, many of them remain on a survivor’s wish list. If you want to provide a gift for your loved one that also helps with recovery, give them something therapeutic that they normally wouldn’t splurge on for themselves.
Here are some of the best premium gifts for stroke patients:
7. Percussion Massage Device
Percussion massage devices are trending right now, and there might be a place for them in stroke recovery?. Check with your loved one’s therapist to see if a percussion massage device, like the Hypervolt, can help their recovery. While percussion massage devices are designed for sore muscle recovery, the stimulation and sensation may help with stroke recovery. The vibration will increase blood flow in the muscles and sends sensory signals through the body to stimulate the brain and may encourage neuroplasticity.
8. FitMi Home Therapy
Does your loved one know they should be doing at-home therapy but struggle with motivation? An interactive home therapy program like FitMi can make an excellent gift. The device works by motivating users to accomplish high repetition of therapeutic, full-body exercises.
Unlike traditional therapy, where people accomplish an average of 32 repetitions per session, FitMi users are motivated to accomplish hundreds of repetitions. This helps stimulate the brain and improve movement throughout the body. The device’s reviews speak for themselves.
9. Tremor-Cancelling Utensils
If your loved one struggles with tremors after stroke, consider giving them the gift of steady mealtimes. Liftware makes tremor-canceling utensils that help cancel out shaking hands so that stroke patients can eat without spilling. It’s actually intended for people who have Parkinson’s disease, but it works well for stroke patients too!
10. MusicGlove Hand Therapy
Hand movement is often the slowest function to return after stroke, which can be frustrating. Standard hand exercises can be monotonous and boring. Fortunately, there’s a music-based hand exercise device called MusicGlove that’s clinically proven to improve hand function within 2 weeks. It’s a premium stroke recovery gadget that can make an excellent gift for your loved one because it is entertaining and fun.
11. Electrical Stimulation Machine
When rehabilitation exercise is paired with electrical stimulation, studies have shown that stroke patients see better motor improvements than just exercise alone. If they already have a solid home exercise regimen, consider giving them the gift of electrical stimulation to take their recovery the extra mile. If you buy this for them, be sure to encourage them to discuss this treatment with a therapist first, who can guide them on safety measures.
12. Acupuncture Gift Card
Acupuncture may help with stroke recovery, but everyone responds differently. As a result, stroke patients won’t know if acupuncture helps until they try it. Unfortunately, with the high cost of stroke recovery, many stroke patients can’t afford extra therapies like acupuncture. By gifting your loved one credit at an acupuncture clinic, you can take the risk out of trying this new therapy.
Try using Yelp to find a well-reviewed acupuncturist near you.
Assistive Gifts for Stroke Patients (Help with Activities of Daily Living)
Does your loved one struggle with severe mobility limitations? If so, they might appreciate a gift that makes moving a little easier. This is where adaptive equipment for stroke patients can make a great present.
Let’s continue exploring useful things for stroke patients that can make a practical gift:
13. Leg Lifter
If your loved one uses a wheelchair or otherwise has limited leg mobility, a leg lifter can really help. Severe leg weakness can make it difficult getting into and out of bed. However, a leg lifter does require substantial upper body strength, so keep that in mind when choosing your gift.
14. Long-Handled Shoe Horn & Remover
Similarly, a long-handled shoe horn can help your loved one put on their shoes with greater ease, and can even help with pushing their shoes off without having to bend over too far. Don’t underestimate the large impact that time-saving tools like this can have. A long-handled shoe horn makes a great inexpensive gift for stroke survivors.
15. Adaptive Cutting Boards
Using two hands can be a slow and frustrating process in the kitchen after stroke. These assistive cutting boards make it easy to cut with one hand, saving your loved one lots of time and grief. Yanko Design makes these nifty assistive cutting boards.
16. Subscription to Meal Delivery
Eating healthy is an essential part of stroke recovery. The brain and body both require good nutrients to heal and recover. A great way to get healthy food is to cook at home. However, driving to the grocery store and navigating the aisles can be difficult for some survivors.
It can be a great help to subscribe to meal delivery subscriptions such as Hello Fresh or Daily Harvest. They deliver fresh ingredients and recipes straight to your door. This allows survivors to skip the daunting task of the grocery store and instead focus on preparing healthy foods.
If your loved one struggles with hand impairments, be sure they are comfortable with cooking in the kitchen before gifting a subscription meal service that requires cooking. Sometimes, when hand mobility is too low, cooking can be more frustrating than enjoyable. Keep your loved one’s abilities in mind.
17. Speech Therapy Subscription
Does your loved one struggle with speech, memory, or any other cognitive function? A speech therapist is an excellent resource, but even if you gifted a few sessions, it doesn’t provide consistent access to therapy. This is where stroke recovery apps can really help!
In particular, the CT Speech & Cognitive Therapy App contains access to over 100,000 exercises that help improve speech and cognitive fitness after stroke. It’s a great way to help your loved one stay engaged in therapy between visits with their speech therapist. The app was actually created by two speech therapists that wanted their patients to have a way of staying engaged in therapy at home!
18. Stronger After Stroke
This stroke recovery book, written by Peter Levine, is one of the most robust, comprehensive books on stroke recovery. It’s very dense and technical, but that’s the point. It’s the ultimate guide to understanding all the different therapies available for stroke patients.
19. FlintFit Stroke Recovery Exercise DVDs
Last but not least, if you’re on a budget and want to give a stroke recovery gift that’s still practical and useful, consider these FlintFit DVDs. They contain exercises with licensed therapists that your loved one can follow along to at home. It’s not as engaging as other high-tech rehab devices, but it gets the job done.
Want to Make a Care Package for Someone Who Had Stroke?
If you want to create a care package for someone who had a stroke, it’s important to gather a little information first. How severe was their stroke? Was it mild, moderate, or severe? What secondary effects did they sustain? Are they paralyzed or can they still move?
This information will help you create a care package that’s both useful and meaningful for the survivor. Here are some of our recommendations:
- Massive stroke survivors: This survivor will need all the help they can get. If they struggle with speech, consider gifting them early access to a speech therapy app. If they struggle with mobility, gifting them a FitMi to use from the hospital can help them maximize early recovery. (More on that below.)
- Moderate stroke survivors: If they did not sustain any significant effects, they may skip inpatient therapy or attend for a limited time. They might appreciate a gift card to an acupuncture clinic so that they can continue to pursue a full recovery once they return home.
- Mild stroke survivors: These individuals might not need help with therapy. Instead, they might enjoy a home cooked meal, some flowers, or a thoughtful card.
The best thing you can do for a stroke survivor is help them get early access to therapy. During the first 3 months after a stroke, the brain is in a “heightened state of plasticity.” Therapy pursued during this time will have a greater effect as the brain is rapidly trying to heal itself.
While some survivors begin therapy immediately, others experience a delay between the onset of their stroke and their first day of inpatient therapy. This means they lose out on precious time where neuroplasticity is at its height.
To help your loved one maximize recovery, we highly recommend gifting a FitMi if they struggle with mobility. Many survivors have used FitMi from their hospital bed to stay engaged in therapy between visits with their therapist. This takes advantage of that heightened state of plasticity.
Here’s a story of a survivor that received a FitMi as part of a care package in the hospital:
“I bought FitMi for my husband Tim, who has had two strokes during 2 open heart surgeries, the last one resulted in hemiplegia on the right hand side. He is still in hospital (8 months) and has recovered enough to start getting very bored. I take the FitMi in with me when I visit, which is only twice a week due to Covid. He loves it! It really engage him and as he really wants to get better it is ideal. I imagine that he will use it much more when he gets home as there are a lot of exercises he cannot complete yet. It is also very easy to use even if a person is not very computer literate. It is well worth the money and import charges as we live in England and it’s not sold over here.”
– Alison H.
If you can use FitMi with your loved one while you are visiting, that’s even better. Otherwise you can help their family members understand how to use the device. Do whatever it takes to keep therapy going as frequently as possible. Increasing the repetition of those movements is essential for recovery. That’s what makes the ultimate care package for someone that had a stroke.
Consider Personality When Shopping
As you work through this roundup of useful gifts for stroke patients, be sure to consider your loved one’s personality while shopping. For example, are they hard-working but struggling with depression? Get them something uplifting like Healing & Happiness After Stroke. Do they struggle with staying motivated to exercise? Get them something motivating and proven to work, like the MusicGlove or FitMi.
No matter what you choose, these gifts for stroke patients will show that you put extra thought into their recovery.