Family caregiving is hard work. Whether you’re an adult child caring for an aging parent or a professional caregiver working long days in service to a senior, the work is taxing.
If you know and admire a family caregiver, you’ve mostly likely tried to think of ways to communicate your appreciation for all that the caregiver does on a daily basis. The good news is: There are many ways to thank a family caregiver that align perfectly with the important role a caregiver plays.
Here’s a look at 10 of the best ways to thank a family caregiver.
1. Help Them Relax
Caregiving is draining in so many different ways — physically, emotionally and more. For that reason, helping a caregiver relax is one of the best gifts you can give.
Considering giving a caregiver a gift certificate for a massage, a facial, a manicure or a pedicure. If the caregiver likes to play golf, buy them a round.
When you help caregivers relax, you’re giving them a day to unwind and focus on themselves, which is something that rarely happens in the course of their work. And, as an added bonus, the caregiver will return to work more refreshed and better prepared to do an outstanding job.
2. Give Them a Break
Do you want to really endear yourself to a family caregiver? Try stepping into their shoes by giving him or her a day off. If you can’t do a full day, even just offering time for a lengthy lunch or an afternoon off to run some errands can be incredibly helpful.
Many of these ideas work well in tandem. For example, you can offer to give a caregiver a day off while also handing him or her a gift certificate to do something relaxing.
3. Offer Assistance
Caregiving can often be a lonely job. Maybe you’re not comfortable with stepping in and taking over for an afternoon or a full day. So offer instead to join the caregiver and provide support. Just having someone to talk to and lean on during the course of a morning or full day can mean the world to someone engaged in caregiving day in and day out.
4. Make a Donation
People who provide care to seniors are often passionate about what they do. They love the people they care for, of course, but they are also driven by a higher purpose and sense of calling. So, with that in mind, try paying homage to that higher purpose by making a donation.
For example, maybe you know someone caring for a loved one who’s suffering from dementia. Say “thank you” by making a donation in his or her name to the Dementia Society of America or another relevant non-profit.
5. Throw Them a Party
Here’s where it gets fun: Throw a caregiver a party. You don’t need to go wild with it. Simply finding out the caregiver’s favorite restaurant and gathering some friends would be enough.
If you do throw a party, however or big or small, make sure attendees have a chance to tell the caregiver what he or she means to them, either through words or in writing. Affirmation of what the caregiver is doing can help sustain his or her work.
6. Send Them a Meal
When you’re caring for someone else, you sometimes forget to care for yourself. For that reason, you can thank a family caregiver by sending a delicious and healthy meal to the caregiver you know. Sending a meal makes the caregiver’s life more convenient, and sending something healthy gives the caregiver an opportunity for self-care that’s not always available.
7. Provide an Endorsement
Whether you’re thanking volunteer or professional caregivers, you should let others know what a wonderful job they are doing. Volunteer caregivers may someday apply for jobs or to universities or for scholarships. Offer to provide a recommendation or endorsement that helps them. If you appreciate the work a professional caregiver is doing, offer to provide an endorsement for his or her business.
8. Snap a Photo
Caregivers develop close bonds with the people they are looking after. When you have the opportunity, snap a photo of the caregiver with the person they are helping. Put the photo in a nice frame, and consider giving it as a thank you gift on a special occasion. You can combine this idea with the next one — writing a note.
9. Write a Note
In our connected, digitized world, few people take time to handwrite notes anymore. It’s too easy to send a quick email or text message. But, when you take time to write a heartfelt note by hand, place it in a stamped envelope and send it to a caregiver, that note holds far greater meaning.
10. Just Say It: ‘Thank You’
This one’s easy: Just say “thank you.” Caregiving can be an incredibly thankless job, and caregivers themselves can sometimes wonder whether or not what they do is making a difference. Just stopping caregivers you know and telling them how much their work is appreciated could make all the difference in their days or weeks.
Caregiving You Can Count On
It’s hard to find a good caregiver — which is why it’s so important to make good caregivers know they are appreciated. At First in Care, we first started serving seniors at home because of this vast shortage of quality caregivers, and we are passionate about serving each and every day.
If you know someone who needs care in Bradenton or nearby areas, we would be delighted to help. There are no thanks necessary, as we do this work in service to a higher purpose and to help the most vulnerable among us.