Gift Ideas for Women with Chronic Illness/Disability

The holiday season is just around the corner, and most of us are busy totting up lists of gifts to buy. If your list of people to buy for includes someone with chronic illness or disability, you may be hoping to find something especially helpful or welcome to make them feel celebrated (and be sure to check out my gift guides for children and men, as well).

Here are just a few of my favorite gift ideas for women living with chronic illness or disability, to help get you started!

Disclaimer: Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links and I will earn a small commission if you purchase through those links. I post links to products that I have used personally, or that I feel might be helpful or useful to my readers. I particularly like to support small businesses, socially-responsible sellers, and other disabled/chronically ill individuals whenever possible.

Gifts for Flare Days

Image of clear lucite cane, with link to Fashionable Canes website.
A clear lucite derby-style walking cane with silver collar.

Some days, we all need something to lean on. The world is certainly full of functional, practical canes, and they serve their purpose. But for the person who uses a cane regularly (or on flare days–our worst days), it can bring a little smile to have a beautiful or fun cane to enjoy.

This shop has countless fantastic canes in all kinds of patterns, shapes, and sizes. For a funky, versatile option, a clear lucite cane is hard to beat (check out other great cane options in my post dedicated to canes!).

Image of woolen striped blanket, with link to Sackloth and Ashes.
A woolen taupe blanket with light blue, cream, gold, and black stripes, and white cream fringe.

For a flare day, nothing beats a soft, warm blanket (check out some other ideas to make flare days comfortable!). And while blankets can be functional, this soft-colored striped blanket proves they can also be beautiful.

I always love a shop that gives back, and I especially love this shop. The blankets are designed by indigenous people, and represent their culture, heritage, or geographic location. For each blanket sold, the company donates a blanket to a homeless shelter of the buyer’s choice. These blankets are just beautiful in every possible aspect!

Practical Gifts

Image of handmade slippers, with link to Etsy seller.
Suede leather handstitched slippers in taupe, with orange and brown embroidered starburst, and fleece lining. Slippers are shown on a large sheepskin.

Cold feet make everything more miserable. During the colder months of the year, I usually play “Mr. Rogers” with my feet: as soon as I walk in the door, my shoes come off and my slippers go on! Many of us with chronic illness spend long periods of time at home, and slippers are a great way to be comfortable and warm.

This seller makes their beautiful handmade slippers from off-cuts and recycled materials. Each pair is unique! They are beautifully made, soft and warm, and so comfortable. Plus, they aren’t heavy or cumbersome, so they don’t deplete energy stores (read more about why that’s important and tips for choosing footwear here!). They make a wonderful, one-of-a-kind gift!

Image of adjustable bracket to hold mobile device, with link to Wayfair.
A clip-on long bracket, with holder for mobile device.

We in the chronic illness community spend a lot of time in bed or resting on the couch. Sometimes we pass that time on devices, but with fatigue, weakness, or pain issues, it can be difficult to hold that device for long stretches.

The adjustable bracket on this gadget allows it to attach to a headboard, coffee table, or similar surface near where we are resting. The arm is adjustable to set the device at just the right height and angle. A device like this bracket can be very helpful to hold the device and help us pass the time as we recover!

Gifts to Encourage

Image of silver bangles with encouraging messages, with link to Etsy seller.
A stack of thin silver bangle bracelets stamped with encouraging messages, such as “Just breathe,” “Stay Strong,” and “Be Kinder to Yourself” are shown next to a lavender bouquet.

Chronic illness is a marathon, and it’s easy to get discouraged or overwhelmed. Little moments of encouragement go such a long way to help us cope!

I love the idea of these bracelets. In the moments when your person is feeling most discouraged, the sweet messages on these bangles may just be the encouragement and inspiration they need to keep going. I also love the option to include a message on the inside of the bangle, where you can share inside words or comments that will make your person smile. We all need a cheerleader from time to time!

Image of flower shipment, with link to seller.
A cream and purple bouquet of fresh flowers sits on the edge of a carboard shipping box.

One thing that sure to brighten a dark day is a bouquet of flowers. The freshness, the bright colors, the fragrance… There’s something about flowers!

For a unique gift that’s sure to lift your person’s spirits, why not try giving a bouquet-a-month? These can be grown at home, purchased from the grocery store, or given through a subscription program such as this one. The means don’t matter as much as the end result: a little something to brighten your friend’s outlook each month, and to remind them throughout the year that you are in this with them.

Just for Fun Gifts

A black t-shirt with writing, “Made plans. Might cancel later. #chronicillnessawareness”. A pair of jeans and grey Chucks shoes are shown with shirt on a whitewashed wooden surface.

We’re all far too familiar with the pattern of making plans and cancelling unexpectedly because of our ever-changing health status. While it’s an extremely frustrating circumstance, I love how this shirt makes light of the darkness. It’s also a simple way to acknowledge that you understand your friend’s changing needs.

This seller has a number of great items, including shirts celebrating sobriety, mental health awareness, and rare chronic illness. All of the shirts have positive, encouraging messages, and seek to both normalize and provide a lighter side to these struggles. Plus, a shirt or sweatshirt is a comfortable clothing item for resting at home and recovering.

Image of silver spoon bangle bracelet, with link to Etsy seller.
A silver bangle bracelet with stamped sunflowers, made of an antique silver spoon handle.

Those of us in the chronic illness community are often referred to as, “Spoonies.” For a fun gift that’s sure to bring a smile, why not choose a piece of jewelry upcycled from an antique spoon? This is a great way to acknowledge the reality of illness, and celebrate it.

This seller offers a wide variety of beautiful pieces of jewelry: rings, bracelets, key chains, and everything in between. This would be a sweet gift for the spoonie woman on your list.

Happy gifting!

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