January 26, 2015

Gift Ideas for a Person with Diabetes During the Year

We are all aware of getting gifts for people with diabetes during the holidays, but do we think of gifts for birthdays, anniversaries, and other special days. With that in mind, here are a few ideas that are not just for Christmas, but also for anytime.

Medical alert jewelry is always a great gift; however, make sure that the recipient will wear it. I have been shocked at the number of people with diabetes that will not wear anything that identifies them as having diabetes. In conversations with several emergency medical technicians (EMTs) over the last few months all commented how few people actually wear medical alert jewelry of any type.

All agreed that too often people are given medication that they are allergic to or have bad reactions after a few minutes. Several commented that the police that often arrive at a person's residence do a search for medications and check the refrigerators looking for medications requiring refrigeration. One of the EMTs stated that he likes people that have medical alert information where it can be found as this often means better treatment and a phone call will alert them to medications that could be life saving for the person.

Another commented that in many cases where the husband and wife are both alive, sometimes one spouse will not be aware of what medications the other spouse is taking. He has also seen one spouse refuse to give information that could be critical to the treatment of the spouse in trouble. Often they have brain freeze and cannot think when a loved one is in trouble.

Fresh food is always appreciated. Avoid 'food of the month clubs,' as you will often pay more than at the local grocery store and for poorer quality. If your friend lives in a cold climate, warm gloves, thermal socks, cashmere scarves (even the wool variety), and warm hats are often much appreciated. These will help in the cold winds and help reduce the stress on the organs.

If you have the funds, exercise machines can be a great exercise aid. Before spending the money, be sure that there is space available and that the person has the ability to use the equipment. If the person is one that likes massages, facials, or other pampering sort of things, then consider these. Be sure to avoid tanning beds, as these are not safe. The tanning bed manufacturers will claim otherwise, but they are still not safe.

If you have youngsters on your list, how about lessons in Karate, dancing, fencing, basketball, or other sport they may have an interest? Always be sure that the parents will support the youngster in this. Some children and even teens enjoy reading and will love books. Check to be sure if they have an interest in a series or particular author.

If a person with diabetes works, buy them a slow cooker. They can leave for work in the morning and come home to a cooked meal at night. If necessary, consider adding a slow cooker cookbook.

If the person with diabetes needs to be in contact with others because of health issues, think of a cell phone. This might help allay anxiety when they are alone. Be sure that you can afford or the person can afford the monthly bill.

For an elderly parent, an alert necklace with a button that can be pushed to summon help by the police can help after falls or other events where the person is threatened or fears outsiders can be of help. Even web cameras if the parent will allow them can help and make the elderly parent more comfortable. Then you can keep tabs on them from your computer at home and in some cases from work. Be sure your employer will allow this first.

4 comments:

Jane said...

Thanks for the reminder about medical alert jewelry. I've been intending to get something to wear and have put it off for 4 years now. I am recently widowed so there is no one at home with me who could tell an emergency responder that I have type 2 diabetes. I've decided to order a bracelet this week.

Bob Fenton said...

Good for you, Jane. I wear a necklace and even with being remarried, I am happy I have it.

Jane said...

I just called the pharmacy about what info to have on the alert bracelet & they said to include any allergies but they didn't think it necessary to include medication. I take metformin. What are your thoughts on this? I appreciate feedback.

Bob Fenton said...

Jane, Only if you take insulin and desire the same. Even then it may not be necessary as responders will see that you are type 2 and do a blood glucose test and administer what the doctor orders if you are very high, or add a glucose IV if you happen to be low.

If it is the true Medic Alert bracelet, then you will need to notify the company of medications and other medical information the doctor believes should be included. Allergies is very important to have on the bracelet!

If this is not the true Medic Alert bracelet, then if you are not in the habit of changing doctors often, put the doctor's name and office phone or doctor's cell phone number on the bracelet if he approves.

I use the term Medic Alert because there are several companies that have medical alert jewelry, but few that have the phone number of the Medic Alert company on the jewelry for responders to call for medical information that is available 24/7.

Make sure Type 2 Diabetes is on the bracelet.