Too4Barb has great ideas but some of them don't work.
Having worked with patients in the hospital and having had family in the hospital for bi-pass surgery I know that often times they are on special diets therefore they might not be able to have certain foods or candies. . . . if they can have candies,hard candies are great as a patients mouth tends to get dry often times because they are on oxygen
. . . get a couple of pounds of Brach's hard candies. They help the patient to keep saliva in their otherwise dry mouth
.(chocolates tend to stick to a dry mouth)
Watch what kind of slippers you get someone because of the slip factor not to mention that they need slippers they can get into easily as bending at this point is hard.
Unless you know what kind of books they enjoy,don't get books.
Most toliet items are provided by the hospital. Unless you know what deodorant,tooth paste etc they like. . . leave that alone as well.
Most hospitals provide TV which provides entertainment of that kind so I don't think a Walkman would be something they would want.
Special magazines that the patient loves IS a great idea and when the patient is through with the magazine they can leave it for other patients or in the waiting room.
Scratch tickets are thoughtful but once you leave the room and the patient scratches the ticket,they are right back where they were. . . alone not to mention if they do win something once they get home the ticket is forgotten and so will be the winnings.
How about a book so visitors can sign it. Gives the family something to look at and remember who came to visit once they get home and start discussing the ordeal.
Give the patient something SPECIAL and something that gives the patient encouragement.
A meal/shopping gift card is something they can look forward to when they get home.
How about an inexpensive robe. . .most patients put hospital gowns on backwards as a robe. . . pretty short and pretty breezy. Make sure the robe opens in the front and has a tie. . easier for getting on and off etc.
Take stuff to give the patient a manicure and hand massage
.(If it is a woman,paint her nails/toenails.) Patients lay in bed and start to feel better but feel like they look like crap.
A good smelling lotion for a good back rub is a great idea as they lay in bed and their backs start to really bother them.Leave the bottle of lotion so others can do the same thing.
After a few days in bed,patients hair starts to get all crappy feeling and looking. If the nurses will allow,give them a shampoo and dry.
Offer to take the patient for a wheel chair ride outside if permitted and if not permitted,maybe they can atleast get off of the floor they are on and see some other scenery.
Giving patients all those flowers,gifts etc gives them and the nursing personnel sooo much to have to take out as the patient is dismissed and are short lived at best.
Patients enjoy and seem to appreciate the small thoughtful things you do for them and those things that others forget. It shows you really put thought into it when you give candies that help with dry mouth,get them a robe and do the kind things of hygiene that they and the nurses haven't got time for nor think of or unable to do for themselves at this point.
If you really want to make the patient a hit with the nurses,give them about 5 lbs of Brach's candies(mixed) in a basket that they can use to carry things home in when it's empty. The patient can show their gratitude to the nurses by letting them get candy and if their mouths get dry,they have something for that as well.(Stash some for the patient only should the basket become empty)
My Dad did this and he really enjoyed having the attention of all of the nurses. . . when visitors weren't there he had a parade of nurses coming in and it made him feel like a hit with them. . . he also got their undivided attention as well.