Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Gift Ideas for Dialysis Patients / those with renal and kidney disease

FTC disclosure:  This post contains affiliate links.

I know this is a narrow field, but I wanted to include gift ideas for those on dialysis and with kidney disease.  My mother was on dialysis and people often didn't know what to get her, and often bought her gifts that weren't really the best for her when a small change would have made a gift so much better and useful with the dietary restrictions on those with kidney failure.  Here are some ideas my mother would have liked.

Here are some ideas:

1.  Long sleeved sweatshirts and sweaters.   Most dialysis patients have very bruised arms and they like to keep them covered.

2.  A blanket with sleeves (such as a Snuggie)   I would suggest this in black because it could get blood stained during dialysis.  Or go with a fun design such as this Superman blanket with sleeves.

3.  Long sleeved lightweight shirts.  Again, for warmer weather it can keep arms covered.

4.  A dialysis cookbook.   My mother got tired of the same meals all the time and ideas for new foods aren't always easy to come by because of the dietary restrictions.  Even better is for you to read it before giving it to them, and make them a meal from it!

5.  Dialysis patients are limited on how much water / liquid they should drink.  A gift basket with things like Lemonheads,  candy sticks, strawberry candy, Jolly Ranchers, and gum made to relieve dry mouth are all appreciated since it's common for their mouths to be dry.  (Stay away from chocolates.)

6.  Meat.   Many dialysis patients need extra iron and protein.  Some nice steaks, pork chops, etc. would usually be welcomed.  (Stay away from ham as it is usually very salty.)  If you aren't sure what types of meat to get, a gift card to a grocery store would be a great idea.

7.  A basic Kindle gives them something to read while they are on dialysis.  Often they only have one arm free and have to hold their device and navigate it with the free hand.  A subscription to Kindle Unlimited means for $10 a month, they would have as much reading from the Kindle Unlimited program as they want.

8.  Since they are limited on sodium, a gift basket of low sodium items are always welcome.  Things like Mrs. Dash seasonings and any items that say "no salt added" to them.  There's often a little sodium in most things, so to get things that are totally sodium free are a little difficult to find.  Also, read labels to make sure the potassium hasn't been increased in to make up for the lack of sodium.

9.  Dialysis patients are often on a large number of medicines.  I wish I would have known about this medication alarm clock for my mother.  It tracks up to six medicines a day, and would have made things easier on both of us!  This 31 Day Pill Organizer is unique in the fact that you can see at a glance if you have taken all your medicine for that day, and it also offers three pill compartments for 31 days.

10.  The ultimate gift for a dialysis patient, in my opinion is an iPod Touch  If they don't know how to load music to it, show them, show them about podcasts.   Listening to something you enjoy helps make the time on dialysis go more quickly!  I would recommend this over an iPad Mini (while still a great gift) because of the size and it is easily handled with just one arm free.

11.   Gift cards!   The person often doesn't have a lot of extra money and they know what they need or would enjoy, so if you aren't sure, give a gift that allows them to do the choosing.

12.  Fun and dialysis don't seem to go together, but Zazzle has a few fun items such as this Dialysis Patient By Day, Gamer By Night t-shirt.

Another item many dialysis patients need is a tote bag because they take different items with them to dialysis.  This "Dialysis isn't for sissies" tote bag might be just the thing to add a smile to what can be an often dismal situation.

13.  Another idea is not all dialysis patients can afford the supplemental nutrition drink Nepro.  It is not always covered by insurance, and helps replace nutrients lost during their therapy.  Not a fun gift, but if their insurance doesn't cover it, it would certainly be appreciated.

14.  Because dialysis patients are limited on fluid intake, anything to make their liquids last longer can be a fantastic gift.   One year for Christmas I gave my mother the Zoku Quick Pop Maker with an assortment of sugared sodas (it doesn't work with diet) to make flavored ice pops.  These are created in minutes and were a huge hit with her.


  1. i like the T-shirt . Lets people know they still have a life . My family is riddled with kidney disease - I am one of the lucky ones- so far. This is a great blog, thanks for posting it.

    1. I know, that shirt is really great. Someone might be on dialysis, but doesn't mean they give up their hobbies and interests!

  2. Some really great gift ideas that I wouldn't have thought of. Thank you.

  3. These are great ideas, however I must add here to NOT GIFT THESE PEOPLE CANDIES to releive dry mouth! I’m a dental hygienist and it’s important to understand that the lack of saliva, or having dry mouth, is mainly due to medication. When there isn’t much saliva production, there is a HIGHER risk of developping cavitites in the teeth because saliva actually neutralizes the acidity cause by decay-making bacteria in the mouth (which causes cavities). Adding to this situation sweet and sticky foods or drinks only makes the development of cavities greater since the sugar in those foods gives those decay-making bacteria more energy without any protection from the lack of saliva. A BETTER ALTERNATIVE would be to gift Lubricants for dry mouth such as products from the brand Biotene (a mouth wash that lubricates), or Xylimelts (which are little oral-adhering disks or drops that stick to your teeth or gums to relieve persistent dry mouth) which provides long lasting lubrification while preventing cavities! I hope this is useful to people who currently have dry mouth. :)