Home caregivers are often the unsung heroes of many people’s lives. The holiday season is a perfect time to sing their praises a little and let them know just how much their dedication, talents and generosity are appreciated. If you know any home caregivers – either because they care for you or care for someone you know – take some extra time this December to say thank you.
There are many ways that you can show home caregivers your appreciation. The following are just a few suggestions.
- Give them time. Most family caregivers have far more things to do than they have time in which to do them. One of the nicest gifts a caregiver can receive is the gift of time. Offer to relieve an overworked caregiver for whatever amount of time you can: an hour, an afternoon, a weekend. Volunteer to take over the caregiving chores (after receiving appropriate instructions from the caregiver, of course) so that this very special person has some much-needed “me” time.
- Help with the holiday chores. You can make the holiday brighter for a caregiver by pitching in to put up the decorations or shopping for presents or helping to cook the special holiday meal.
- Help with the everyday chores. Find out from your caregiving loved one what you can do around the house that would make their day easier. Whether it’s one day of vacuuming, shopping once a month or putting gas in the car every week, it can make a big difference in the life of a busy caregiver.
- Just listen. Often, people caring for other individuals could really use a sounding board. They may need to let off steam or have a real problem for which they need advice or may just long for some nice, gossipy conversation with someone.
- Stay in touch. When you’re taking care of another person, you sometimes don’t have the time to make plans to get together with friends or even to call as often as you would like. It can make a caregiver feel very good when a friend reaches out and says, “I know you’re busy, but I’d really like to see you if that’s alright. Is there some time that when I can drop by and just chat for a few minutes?”
Home caregivers deserve our heartfelt thanks. Make a special effort during this holiday season to make that special connection and let them know that you value all they do.