Caregivers Are a Gift to Others

by Dr. Marla E. Jirak, Owner, CoachSmart Consulting, LLC

The responsibilities for those who must attend to the daily-living needs of another are endless and do not occur any less because of the holiday season. It is especially important to reach out with any gift of kindness to those who are caregivers.

Gift-giving over the holidays

If you are a family providing care, gift-giving can be costly and time-consuming. To save time, shop online as many of these stores provide gift-wrapping for free or at minimal extra cost. Also, look to friends and relatives to do the gift shopping for you and fall back on gift cards, too.

Adapt traditions or start new ones so loved ones adjust. Family caregivers are often financially stressed, so spending will be less for gifts. Also, remember that those individuals needing care may not be able to attend holiday events. Do things like visiting light displays by car or watching holiday videos together.

Simplify the holidays by focusing on the meaning of them.

Giving gifts to caregivers

Often it is difficult for others to know what to give to a caregiver or people needing care. Try giving the gift of time or attention, like scheduling outings or helping with a project so the caregiver can get some respite. Here are some additional suggestions for gifts:

  • Send over ingredients and the recipe for a meal and wrap in a gift box or order prepared food delivery service for a week or longer (e.g., Hello Fresh or Home Chef-Fresh and Easy).
  • Gift your time to go grocery shopping for the family for the week.
  • Family members can gift going to the home to prepare and cook meals ahead of time or on the actual holiday.
  • Give gift cards to local restaurants, coffee shops or bakeries.
  • Consider spa certificates or a gym membership for a year needed for caregiver respite.

Most importantly, give your gift to a caregiver and include a personal letter thanking them for all they do for the care recipient, and speak from the heart.

It can be this simple gesture of kindness that can have far more impact than any expensive gift. These tips are sure to make for happier holidays with caregivers and their care recipients.