Being a hospital patient isn't usually a pleasant experience. A patient gift is always appreciated, particularly one that enhances the recipient's comfort. A good gift should ease the discomfort of being hospitalised, not just serve as eye candy, or real candy, for that matter. Practical, thoughtful gifts will make you the hero of any hospitalised loved one.
The thin, rough standard-issue hospital blankets are lacking at best. A soft, thick quilt makes an outstanding gift for any hospital patient by providing cuddly comfort and lots of warmth. A hypoallergenic blanket is best, but these are sometimes expensive. Basic cotton quilts are also a good choice, especially those with a lively pattern or colour scheme that brighten the patient's room. Avoid materials that might cause an allergic reaction from the patient or her roommate such as wool, feather, down or angora. Cotton allergies exist but are less frequent than other types of materials.
Between the stale hospital air and scratchy blankets, dry skin takes on a whole new meaning for a hospital patient. Body lotion is an equally appropriate gift for a man or a woman. She can't smooth lotion on her surgical site, but there's no reason the rest of her skin can't enjoy some moisture infusion. An unscented hypoallergenic lotion protects the skin against the dry recycled hospital air. Avoid dripping, spilling and staining by giving a lotion that is thick but not greasy.
A pre-loaded Netbook is the dream gift of a long-term hospital patient, allowing her access to entertainment and the Internet, often for less than £325. Internet access can help the patient feel connected, if only virtually, to friends, sports, the news and TV shows or movies. Many hospitals don't have reliable wireless coverage, so don't forget to buy an attachable wireless device along with the Netbook to enable reliable Internet access inside the hospital.