Surgery / Injury
Recovery Time: How to Help a Friend After Surgery

Knowing what to say or do after a loved one undergoes surgery can be hard. It can be especially hard if this is your first time dealing with surgery. Leaving the hospital after surgery can present numerous challenges. Any gift or assistance you offer can greatly aid in the healing process. There’s a lot of ups and downs, but as they are on their steady uphill climb to feeling like themselves again, you can provide comfort and care to show how much you’re thinking of them.

We’re going to break down how to help a friend after surgery, covering the practical side of things to the unique gifts you might not have thought about.

If you’re looking to spread the word around and let others know how they can help, then you’ve definitely come to the right place because Give InKind is the platform all about helping anyone, anywhere. You can make your own “InKind Page" where you can detail what a loved one needs, whether it be a service or gifts, set up schedules, and invite others to join in to help too. It takes just five minutes to set up a page and then you can send it to others so the person that needs the support can get it.

Recovery And Self-Care Essentials

Little gifts that can help recovery become a little easier can really turn the day around.

person laying in bed holding her arms up to her head

Recovery is all about knowing yourself and resting as much as you can, and with the right tools it can be even easier.

When your friend finally gets home from the hospital and is finally able to be in their own bed focusing on their recovery there’s a lot of helpful products that can help aid them in the process to make it all a little easier, so let’s discuss.

With lots of rest planned during the day, the sun can make that midday nap impossible as it blares through the windows. A sleeping mask can be a game changer. A soothing weight, and effective way to block out the light.

With recovery comes a lot of time at home and you’re gonna want to put on your softest clothes and socks. A new pair of pajamas or sweatpants that’ll quickly become a new favorite pair would be a great gift.

While spending a lot of time in the living room or the bedroom,

furnishing it with little things that can help and/or brighten it up can really be useful for both physical and mental recovery, a couple of those items are:

  • An iPad Holder or subsequent tablet stand can be so useful especially when your friend is recovering in various positions and wants to easily use their tablet. A way to keep entertainment going without having to worry about holding the tablet up the entire time.
  • You can brighten up your friend’s room with a Plant Gift Box which can add a bit more color and life to the room, and they can watch something begin to bloom and grow as they heal and recover.
  • A Himalayan Glow Crystal Salt Lamp can also brighten up the room with a gentle, soothing light illuminating the way for caretakers without disrupting your friend’s rest.
  • Reusable Hot and Cold Gel Ice Packs are gonna be your loved ones new best friend, especially as they provide both heat and cooling, and can be reused. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, so you can use multiple at the same time and in different locations.
  • With limited mobility, having accessible hygiene options is crucial. A No-Rinse Shampoo Cap and No-Rinse Body Cleansing Foam can definitely help the person feel a bit more human in their recovery.
  • Depending on the type of surgery or the amount of time your loved one will be taking the time to heal, they may experience dry skin, so finding lotion, the best body lotions, can really make a great difference.

Useful Products To Keep By The Bed

Extended periods of bed rest can get uncomfortable, consider these items to bring soothing relief during prolonged down time.

Comfort is key to ensuring that recovery time isn’t a total pain. This is especially important with extended bedrest. Offer a few things that’ll help with making their “stay" as good as can be.


  • An Orthopedic Bed Wedge Pillow Set is the ultimate way to optimize not only your friend’s comfort but also their healing. It allows for various adjustments, so it molds to suit the person’s needs. Made of memory foam, they won’t have to worry about any stiff muscles while in bed.
  • A Bamboo Bed Tray Table with Foldable Legs provides a stable surface for eating meals and working in bed.
  • A bedside organizer caddy keeps all of your friend’s necessary items organized and right by their bedside so they can easily access chapstick, medicine, tissue, lotion, journals, beverages, and more.
  • If your friend is fortunate enough to have someone around the house to help with their recovery, having a way to call them without having to shout is going to save a lot of annoyance on both sides. A Steel Hand Bell is a great way to avoid yelling back and forth, plus it makes a nice little jingle.

Bored? No Worries, There’s A Ton Of Great Goodies Out There

Sometimes the days of doing nothing can get tedious, so let’s help fix that.

person reading a book and holding a mug of coffee. A good book is among the best ways how to help a friend after surgery

A warm drink and a good book can definitely help you feel better when you need a little cheering up.

Post-surgery times can come with a lot of boredom, and finding activities that can keep things interesting while still promoting healing can provide a great mental break.

  • If you wanna do something really special for your loved one when they get out of surgery then consider getting them a preloaded Kindle or e-reader with all of their favorite books and/or audio stories on it. It can provide countless hours of entertainment and they can dive into any story they want to no matter the time of day. And you can even ask them what their favorite books are or what they are looking forward to reading and buy it with the e-reader.
  • If you know your friend really well then why not make them a curated playlist? You can use Spotify, Tidal, or Apple Music to create a list of their favorites and bring them a little comfort through their favorite songs.
  • A little basket of treats can go a long way, especially if you get them a Gourmet Gift Basket full of delicious treats. Choose what your friend would like the best. Select from meats, cheeses, dried fruits, sweets, crisps, and more.
  • If your loved one is a big fan of crosswords, Sudoku, or other types of puzzles, try getting them a Puzzle Book. Full of entertainment and a great alternative to screen time. You can also get them some colored pencils and their very own Adult Coloring Book to let their mind take a break and focus on creating some pretty pictures.

Gift Cards, Subscriptions, And Other Helpful Services

Sometimes the best gifts are ones that keep on giving.

person with a blanket wrapped around their head and body sits in a dark room illuminated by the glow of a television

Recovery after surgery can take a number of days, weeks, or even months, and your friend might be homebound for the entire period. Make their experience better with gifts and services to make recovery easier.

  • A Gift Card to their favorite restaurant, take away spot, or delivery service would definitely take stress away from getting food for when the person needs a little more rest time. You can have their favorite dishes delivered right to the house.
  • If your friend is a big fan of stories, specifically audio stories, then you can buy them a subscription to Audible: The online destination for audio stories recorded by authors and celebrities. Another subscription you can get your friend is to a streaming service. There are so many streaming services nowadays that if you think one might interest your friend then why not give them a month or couple month subscription to a streaming service during their time in bed?
  • Include friends, family, and community in the healing support effort by creating a page for your friend on Give InKind. Coordinate with supporters to provide meals, gifts, fundraising, and visits on a regular schedule to keep your friend consistently supported throughout their entire recovery process.


Now You Know How to Help a Friend After Surgery

Offering support to a friend recovering from surgery can make a significant difference in their healing journey. By providing thoughtful gifts, helpful services, and meaningful gestures, we can show our care and create a positive impact in their lives. Additionally, leveraging the power of technology and platforms like Give InKind allows us to organize support effectively and efficiently, making it easier for friends and loved ones to contribute. Remember, we make the road to recovery smoother when we come together as a community, offering our support and kindness to those in need. So, let us extend our helping hands, share our heartfelt gifts, and stand by our friends as they heal, for our collective support can truly make a difference.

Give InKind does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. We have an affiliate relationship with many of the advertisers on our site, and may receive a commission from any products purchased from links in this article. See Terms & Conditions.

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