8 Great Father's Day Gifts for #ChronicDads

by Jackie Zimmerman Patient Advocate

People! Father’s Day is days away. Spare Dad another generic tie or BBQ set. If your dad is living with a chronic illness or chronic pain, you want to go the extra mile to show him how much you care. That’s where this gift guide comes in.

When coming up with these gift ideas, we talked to many dads who are living with chronic illness, and they all said one thing: They just want to do things that all “normal” dads do with their kids. With that in mind, here are some ideas for presents that will meet Dad’s needs while reminding him just how amazing he is.

Winston + Truman starter kit
Courtesy of Harry's


Every dad feels a little better when he’s looking dapper, and that goes for our dads living with chronic illness. Harry’s is a subscription service that offers shaving, shower, and facial items that can provide Dad with everything he needs to look and feel his best. (No extra trips to the store required.) What makes the company doubly awesome? They donate 1% of all their sales to “organizations that are redefining masculinity for the better.”

Buy it: Harry’s

Letters To My Dad cover
Courtesy of Chronicle Books

Letters to My Dad

Looking for a gift for a younger child to give for Father’s Day? Letters to My Dad is a great way for kids of any age to show their dad (or grandpa) how special he is. It provides 12 different letters with writing prompts to encourage kids to think about what makes their Dad great (even if he doesn’t always feel that way) and wraps it up in an adorable little package.

Buy It: Amazon

If you like this product as much as we do, HealthCentral will receive a portion of the purchase proceeds.

Escape the Crate sample box
Courtesy of Escape the Crate

Escape the Crate

The escape-room craze is sweeping the nation, and they sound so fun... unless you’re someone who can’t actually make it out of the house to get to one. If for any reason your dad has a tough time leaving the house, you can bring the escape room home to him. The game provides ciphers, letters, sleuthing tools, and puzzles that you’ll decipher together. After solving a puzzle or putting clues together, you’ll log online and input your answers which will then give you access to more clues and files, leading you on the path to escape room victory. New games ship every other month, or you can buy single "retired" games that are no longer part of the subscription plan.

Buy it: Cratejoy

Wedding menu with text

Custom Menu

One of the best Father’s Day gifts you can give? Simply letting Dad know how much you care and that you’re happy to meet him right where he is. One way that you can do that is to create a custom meal full of all the foods he can eat with no worry. You can really take it up a notch by getting a fancy menu printed. Head over to Etsy, and with a quick search for “menu” you’ll find customizable menus available instantly and in a wide range of price points, some as low as a few bucks. Choose the layout you like, purchase it, and within minutes it will be in your inbox just waiting for you to complete with your courses. Just print it out, and you’re ready to go!

Buy it: Etsy

Rad Dad Box sample
Courtesy of Rad Dad Box

Rad Dad Box

There are so many things that are created for new moms—but what about new dads?! The Rad Dad subscription box is made just for those new dads who are looking for ways to engage with their babies and take care of themselves. Each box has three or four items that are either focused on Dad alone (grooming products) or for Dad to share with his wee one (games and toys designed for interaction). This is perfect for a new dad who may feel like his chronic illness is affecting his quality time with his kids.

Buy it: Cratejoy

Wedge Pillow
Courtesy of Vive Health

Pillow Wedge

If your Pops is an avid reader, likes hanging out in bed, or just needs some extra support, a pillow wedge is a great gift. A wedge has firmer, more consistent support and doesn’t lose its shape easily like a stack of pillows would. This particular wedge is a great choice because it’s machine washable and can be used in four different positions to support his back and/or legs at multiple levels of incline.

Buy it: Vive Health

Grilled Chicken with Quinoa and Brown Rice Salad

Freshly Subscription

If your Dad isn’t much into cooking or his chronic illness makes it extra difficult, you could consider gifting him a Freshly subscription. Freshly delivers healthy meal options that are already cooked food, which means no one has to stand at the stove—or cleanup! You can choose to have four, six, nine, or even 12 meals delivered weekly and can cancel at any time. Freshly is a great option if Dad is recovering from a procedure or surgery and just needs some meal prep help for a short period of time.

Buy it: Freshly

Tai Chi DVD cover
Courtesy of Bodywisdom Media, Inc.

Tai Chi DVDs

The benefits to Tai Chi are astounding—think: reduced stress, improved sleep, less pain, and increased strength and flexibility, according to the Harvard Health. And what’s even better is this form of exercise is low-impact and done in slow-motion—great for dads who may be struggling with pain.

While going to or finding a Tai Chi class may be difficult, you could get Dad a DVD to help him learn the basics. This one in particular from Body Wisdom comes highly rated and is great for beginners, showing the movements from all angles so it’s easy to follow along. Bonus: You can do it together!

Buy it: Amazon

If you love this product as much as we do, HealthCentral will receive a portion of the purchase proceeds.

Cheerful disabled grandfather in wheelchair welcoming his granddaughter

Happy Dads' Day!

We hope you and your #1 guys have an amazing day relaxing and celebrating. Happy Father's Day, Dads!

Jackie Zimmerman
Meet Our Writer
Jackie Zimmerman

Jackie Zimmerman is a multiple sclerosis and ulcerative colitis patient and the founder of Girls With Guts. Since diagnosis, she has blogged her IBD journey at Blood, Poop, and Tears. Jackie has worked hard to become a strong voice in the patient advocacy community. In her free time (what free time?!) she spends time with her two rescue pups, her husband Adam and plays roller derby. She’s online @JackieZimm.