Has a family member or friend of yours recently had open heart surgery? If so, you may be wondering what kinds of gifts are appropriate during their recovery. We’ve got you covered! We’ve put together a few thoughtful gift ideas that are great for patients during their stay in the hospital and their ongoing recovery after release.

While the Patient is in the Hospital

1. No-slip Slippers and a Robe

Hospitals are often kept at cooler temperatures. To help keep your friend or family member comfortable, consider giving them a nice robe and a pair of non-slip slippers to use during their recovery. Make sure the slippers are slide-on, as the patient’s movement will be limited.

2. An Edible Arrangement

These colorful arrangements will brighten any patient’s hospital room and will serve as a healthy snack during recovery. These arrangements can be picked up in store or delivered. Make sure to check with the hospital on their delivery policies.

3. Gift Card for Apple iTunes or Amazon Prime

Patients will spend about a week or so in the hospital following their procedure. To help pass the time, consider gifting them with an iTunes or Amazon Prime gift card. Your family member or friend will be able to download movies, music and books to help keep them entertained while in the hospital.

4. Homemade Care Package

No one knows your family member or friend better than you! Consider putting together a care package for them to take to the hospital. Pack it with heart healthy snacks, magazines, crossword puzzles or word games, a fun t-shirt and of course, the Original Heart Pillow®. Check to see if the patient will receive a pillow from the hospital. If not, retail pillows are available for purchase here.

Care Package for Open Heart Surgery Patients


When the Patient is Recovering at Home

1. Gift Certificate for a Cleaning or Landscaping Service

Your family member or friend will be limited during their recovery, even after the are released from the hospital. Patients will be told by their doctors to avoid lifting heavy objects or certain activities that require the patient to lift their arms over their head. Most cleaning and landscaping responsibilities will have to be done by someone other than the patient for at least 6 weeks after surgery. If this gift is outside of your budget, consider offering to mow the lawn or clean their home.

2. Gym Membership

It’s important for patients to implement an exercise plan after surgery. Live Strong has put together a 7 Step Plan for Exercising After Heart Surgery that you can share with your friend or family member. It’s important that the patient not exercise in extreme hot or cold temperatures. Gym memberships are a great option to ensure they have access to a safe exercise environment during recovery.

3. Healthy Meal Deliveries

There are plenty of healthy meal delivery services out there that you can sign up for. Or even better, you can prepare healthy meals for your friend or family member and deliver them yourself. It’s a great way to show how much you care and spend extra time with them during recovery. Make sure to include whole grains, low-fat dairy, skinless chicken or fish, and fruits or vegetables.