Gift-Giving Guide for Dialysis Patients

A gift that takes into account the special needs of a dialysis patient can be the most thoughtful present of all. For your loved one who is on dialysis, we have a one-of-a-kind gift guide you can use this holiday season. We made the list; now you can check it twice.

Gift ideas for in-center and in-center nocturnal hemodialysis patients

  • Blanket – A blanket will bring your loved one warmth in the typically cold dialysis center. If you have a knack for sewing, crocheting or quilting, consider making a blanket. For people who aren’t as creative but want to add a personal touch, iron your loved one’s initials onto a corner of the blanket. Ask for assistance at your neighborhood craft store where you can find iron-on letters.
  • Small pillow – Along with a blanket, a small pillow can make sitting in a chair at the dialysis center a more comfortable experience.
  • Apparel – Dialysis patients need to have their access visible and accessible for the treatment. Consider purchasing access-friendly clothing. One brand is Hemowear, LLC, and they provide sweatshirts, sweatpants and other apparel made for dialysis patients.
  • Gloves, scarf and socks – Again, the dialysis centers may become chilly so these items come in handy.
  • Electronics – Typically dialysis patients spend 3-4 hours, three times per week at the dialysis center. This is a lot of time to just sit. If your budget allows it, consider buying an MP3 player, portable DVD player or electronic reader. Listening to music or watching movies can help your loved one pass the time.

Gift ideas for home dialysis patients 

Is the person you want to treat on home hemodialysis (HHD) or peritoneal dialysis (PD)? Although home patients aren’t visiting a dialysis center every week, there are some gift ideas that could help with their treatments.

  • Furniture – A new recliner or cushioned chair could make dialyzing at home more relaxed. People who perform PD treatments at night use a cycler that’s typically placed on a nightstand next to the bed. If you have noticed the nightstand isn’t high enough (it should be about the height of the mattress) or your loved one has improvised to make a nightstand with what he has, consider purchasing one that will go with the room’s decor.
  • Duffle bag or tote bag – Purchase a durable bag that can be designated for home dialysis supplies, which can be used for short trips or weekend getaways.
  • Home blood pressure monitor – If you’re able to speak with your loved one’s physician, ask which blood pressure kit he or she recommends.
  • Games – Crossword puzzles, Sudoku or even adult coloring books are a great way to pass the time while dialyzing.

Gift ideas for the kidney diet

A kidney diet is an important part of a dialysis patient’s day. Kitchen tools and accessories make great gifts for cooking at home.

  • Cooking for David: A Culinary Dialysis Cookbook by Sara Colman and Dorothy Gordon – This book, co-authored by a DaVita® dietitian, details how dialysis patients can modify their favorite foods to be kidney-friendly.
  • Spice rack filled with spices – Lowering sodium in the kidney diet is important, so give a spice rack loaded with yummy spices, such as cinnamon, cumin, curry powder, dried oregano, garlic powder, ground ginger, lemon pepper, Mrs. Dash®, paprika, tarragon or thyme.
  • Hot air popcorn popper – Popcorn is a healthy snack for a person on dialysis, so make it fun for him with this kitchen appliance.
  • Herb growing kit – Fresh herbs are a delicious addition to many dishes. Basil, chilies, mint, parsley, rosemary and sage are just a few you can give.
  • Ice pop molds – To help curb thirst and regulate fluid intake, a person on dialysis can make her own ice pops. Instead of the usual rectangular shape, browse a specialty store or the Internet for ice tray molds in different shapes.
  • Insulated lunch bag – Does the dialysis patient in your life go to school or work? She can pack a kidney-friendly lunch in her own lunch bag. An Internet search for “lunch bags” gives an array of websites that sell colorful and uniquely-designed lunch totes.
  • Measuring cups or food scale – A kidney diet needs to be monitored closely, so measuring food and beverages is important. Purchase a set of measuring cups and spoons or a food scale. Home goods stores sometimes feature models in assorted colors.
  • Slow cooker – For a cold winter’s day, a meal made in a slow cooker can be comforting and easy. features numerous slow cooker recipes.

Gift ideas for anyone on dialysis

  • Pedometer – Another part of staying healthy is exercising. Walking is a great exercise for dialysis patients. A pedometer makes achieving small goals fun because it counts a person’s steps every time he wears it. This device can be purchased at a sporting goods store or in the sports section of many retail stores.
  • Journal – Dialysis patients need to keep track of many items, including medicine, blood pressure and food intake. A journal can help organize these items and also allow your loved one to jot down notes or questions to refer to on the next doctor visit.
  • Gift cards – You can’t go wrong with a gift card. Almost every retail outlet has them, so take your pick. Bookstores, online music gift stores and gas stations are just some places you can purchase a gift card.


The dialysis patient in your life faces many obstacles. A gift that has his or her kidney care in mind is a thoughtful gesture that shows how much you care. This gift guide can help you find the perfect present, and may even spark your own ideas. Got other ideas you want to share, too? Sign on to the Discussion Forums to let others know what you plan to get your loved one.