A Gift Guide for the Angels: Gifts for Caregivers

By Beverly Nelson, standupforcaregivers.org

Caregivers carry a heavy weight on their shoulders: they care for those that need help or cannot care for themselves. They soothe and comfort our loved ones: fathers, mothers, and grandparents. The job however is not easy; it requires a tremendous amount of patience, skill, and knowledge. As the holidays roll around it’s important not to forget the wonderful work they do.

For caregivers U.S News suggests thinking outside of the box and giving the gift of experience. This means that instead of looking for a material gift, you can provide an opportunity for your caregiver to experience something new that will ease them from their demanding schedule and the physically and emotionally taxing work they do.

  • Massage: One way to relaxation is by treating your caregiver to a day at the spa where they can receive a full body deep tissue massage. This massage is not only relaxing, but can actually release stress that has built up.
  • Facial: A facial is not only relaxation, but it rejuvenates the skin that is tried and worn from overwork and fatigue.
  • Dinner & a Movie: This may seem simple, but sometimes caregivers just need to remove themselves from their everyday responsibilities. Take the caregiver out for an evening to enjoy a great meal and a movie.
  • Gym Membership: While it is often difficult for caregivers to leave their duties, a one month free membership to a gym or yoga studio can provide them with an opportunity to engage in some self care and find an occasional outlet for their stress.
  • Hike or long walk: Hiking is known to relieve stress through aerobic exercise and a direct experience with nature.

A caregiver might often just need a little encouragement and break from their usual duties, without anything fancy or complicated. A well thought out gift can provide a much needed rest to someone who has reached a point of exhaustion.

  • Offer to take over light clean up duties like dishes, laundry, and room clean up. This can really help to lighten the burden on someone who has to juggle these responsibilities along with caring for someone else full time.
  • Bring out the healing power of art and color with adult coloring books that provide soothing effects and have even been said to be an alternative to meditation.
  • Try a meal delivery service. With Blue Apron, you can ease the cooking duties by making meal preparation easy and convenient. Blue Apron made Redfin’s list for one of the best gifts. This service sends fresh and unique ingredients through the mail and guides you through the preparation of a fresh recipe. It comes with step by step instructions so you have not room for error and you learn to cook something new in the meantime.
  • Consider a gift of comfortable pajamas like adult onesies, which are a great way to be silly and relax around the house.

Forbes Magazine writes on the importance of a respite for caregivers. This is to ensure that caregivers are not worked to the bone and suffer what is often referred to as burnout, which leads to prolonged stress and exhaustion. You can consider In-Home Respite, which means services are brought to the home.

  • Hire another caregiver that can take over duties for a day or two.
  • Hire someone to provide a deep cleaning service to the house and take care of the heavy duty stuff.
  • The Washington Post suggests creating personalized gift certificates for a variety of different tasks including household duties, physician visits, or setting up schedules. This way your caregiver can have various opportunities for short breaks.

Caregivers are the guardian angels in the flesh. They are there when things get difficult and they remain there, everyday, doing the work that is so important for those that need it most. This holiday season show your appreciation for someone that gives themselves everyday.

Photo Credit: Pixabay