Getting a gift to show your appreciation to an especially warm, caring and loving caregiver can be difficult. You want the gift to be meaningful. However, you also want it to be something they'll appreciate, use and like. Perhaps what's needed most is not a thing at all, but the gift of time, recognition and friendship.
Here are just a few gift ideas we think scream "Dear caregiver, we LOVE you, you're Awesome and Thank You."
1. The Gift of Physical Well-Being
Caregiving is a stressful job. We know that one of the best ways to fight stress and to feel better mentally and emotionally is to exercise. Helping a caregiver take care of their own physical health is a meaningful gift that can have an immediate and lasting impact on your caregivers quality of life. Here are a few ideas:
- A gym or pool membership
- Running shoes, leggings or shorts
- Tai Chi or Yoga classes
- A treadmill
- A bike or an annual bike sharing subscription
2. The Gift of Mental Well-Being
Caregivers can see and experience unimaginable sadness, pain and suffering. They can be mistreated and verbally abused. They often perform acts of kindness without any acknowledgement or demonstration of gratitude. The toll can be exceptionally stressful and exacting on their mental health. Here a few ideas to help out:
- A subscription to a meditation app like Calm
- A Yoga membership or a yoga mat
- Take the caregiver out for lunch or dinner once a week to help them clear their thoughts
- A series of gift cards at a local coffee house, so they can take breaks to recharge their batteries
- A night out at the comedy club
- A stress ball
- A portable massager
3. The Gift of Help
Juggling all the tasks of a caregiver can be exceptionally difficult. Between meal preparation, cleaning, transportation, medication management, interacting with doctors, managing finances and assistance with activities of daily living - to name a few - the responsibility can be overwhelming. Here are a few gifts that can ease some of the burden:
- A meal preparation subscription
- Commit to making a meal once or twice a week
- Automatic medication reminders with an alarm
- Robot vacuum cleaner
- Laundry service
- Home modifications (grab bars, raise toilet seats, shower seats, bed transfer technologies, etc...)
- Remote monitoring technologies to free up time (video cameras, medical alert necklaces, sensors)
- Smart technologies (smart lights, thermostats, door bells, door locks, etc...)
4. The Gift of Appreciation
Sometimes all a caregiver needs to know is that they're being appreciated. Whether it's the one their caring for, family members or friends, getting some feedback, that their effort and care is seen, recognized and valued can be worth more than anything. Here are some ways you can show your appreciation:
- A daily "how are you doing" & "thank you" call
- A bouquet of flowers at the end or beginning of every week
- A card signed by the whole family, thanking the caregiver for their love and work
- A custom T-Shirt that says "Dear Caregiver, we love you, you're awesome. Thank You!"
- A custom picture frame with etching that says "we love you", "thank you" and a picture of the caregiver in it.
5. The Gift of Time
One of the reasons caregiving is such a selfless act, is that in many cases it demands that the caregiver give up the one resource that can't be returned, time. Freeing up some time not only allows the caregiver to recharge her batteries, it also let's her tend to her own life. Here are some great gift ideas:
- A professional caregiver (or family member) to take over duties a few times a week
- Enrolling the senior into a day care program
- Arranging for regularly schedule alternative transportation to give the caregiver a break from driving duty
- Investing in remote monitoring, so the caregiver doesn't have to be physically present
- A vacation for the caregiver - staycation, spa, etc...
6. The Gift of Companionship & Friendship
We know that friendships and meaningful relationships are one of the key ingredients to happiness. Caregivers are not different, except that they may need a shoulder to cry on or an open ear more than at any other point in their lives. Here's how you can be a good friend:
- Go for a walk and just listen
- Take the caregiver out with a group of friends to lighten things up a little
- Take them out to their favorite pass time e.g. the beach, the park, a play, the movies or a baseball game
IDEAS, IDEAS, IDEAS!
We love to hear from our readers! And our readers love to hear from other readers. If you have any suggestions that you think can make a difference, even a tiny one, please, please let us know in the comment section below!