Being a caregiver, whether formally or informally, is a huge undertaking. It takes a special kind of person to carry the weight of that kind of responsibility. Not to mention, the patience required to be a part of home caregiver services. Being responsible for another human being is important work that can be taxing at times because you can’t just leave your work at the door when you go home. For all of their unwavering hard work, caregivers deserve acknowledgment.
Informal caregivers often get taken for granted. Wouldn’t it be great to do something, even if it’s small, for them, since they do so much for your family? If there are at-home caregivers in your life, it doesn’t take much to throw a little extra love their way. Here are five ways to thank and honor at-home caregivers.
An informal caregiver is someone who shows up time and again to take care of someone who needs extra help. It’s easy to overlook informal caregivers, because they often aren’t paid for their time and hard work. An informal caregiver could be a son or daughter who’s looking after a senior parent, a reliable family friend who runs errands for a neighbor during a long surgery recovery or a grandparent who stays up and watches a grandchild with special medical needs. They’re the unsung heroes who caregive out of love and necessity, which is even more reason to give them formal appreciation.
Showing your appreciation doesn’t have to be a grand gesture. In fact, it might be even more meaningful if you simply take the time to genuinely and verbally thank your at-home caregiver. With how fast-paced life can get, it can be difficult to remember to show appreciation in small ways.
Simply saying, “thank you” will make your caregiver understand that you acknowledge and respect the importance of their work. If your caregiver is giving up time with their own family or missing events to ensure you or your loved one is being cared for, acknowledge their sacrifice and dedication. The best way to honor an at home caregiver is by making them feel seen and heard.
Sometimes the best gift you can give someone is the gift of time. For example, if your sibling is spending every day after work caring for your senior parents and you’re unable to help the way you’d like, consider hiring part-time home caregiver services to divide the workload. Many families turn to respite care to provide companionship, ensure safety and assist loved ones in maintaining their daily routine in familiar surroundings. Respite care services can provide informal caregivers with the time they need to see to their own needs while giving caregivers peace of mind that the person they’re usually caring for is in excellent hands.
At-home caregivers spend so much time taking care of other people that they often forget to take care of themselves. By giving them a gift certificate to the spa or even just something small, like a bath bomb, you’re recognizing their own need for some much-needed TLC. Gift them something to help them replenish their body or mind. If your caregiver is an avid reader, and that’s how they like to decompress, buy them a book they’ll love. Before purchasing something, make sure you get an idea of how they practice self-care, so it’s that much more meaningful.
The written word holds a lot of power. Buy your caregiver a card and write a thoughtful message honoring everything they do that makes life a little easier. Your caregiver may keep this card and return to its message on particularly challenging or draining days. It’s nice to have physical evidence that your work is meaningful.
Caregivers lead busy lives, so sometimes they run out of time to cook for themselves. You can show your appreciation by taking them out to eat or buying them a gift certificate to their favorite restaurant. Taking them out means giving them your time and attention, which may make them feel valued. Even a gift certificate is acknowledging their own needs outside of caregiving, which is great for a caregiver’s morale.
Sometimes, a caregiver’s work goes unnoticed, but if you look closely enough, you’ll see that they provide more than just routine care for your loved one—they provide quality of life. Show them that you recognize and value their work by properly thanking them for their services. The above ideas should serve as a great jumping-off point for your own brainstorming about gifts and gratitude, helping you to thank them in a personal, meaningful way.