National Family Caregiver Month in November offers the family and friends of caregivers a great opportunity. Every day caregivers work hard to make sure a family member is healthy and safe. Now is the time to appreciate caregivers by showing them how much they are loved.
Chances are, there is someone among your friends or in your family who is a caregiver. The Pew Research Center estimates there are 40.4 million caregivers in the United States. Most are unpaid. They are caring for adults who are 65 or older, and nine out of 10 are caring for an aging relative.
Many face a demanding schedule, routine physical tasks that can take a toll on their health, and even stress about finances. In some cases, being a caregiver can seem like a thankless job. Family Caregiver Month offers you the chance to show caregivers how much everyone appreciates what they do. If you are looking for ideas, consider the following.
There are many ways to appreciate caregivers with gifts. When choosing a gift, think about something that offers the caregiver some “down time” away from the work they do every day. Some ideas include:
- A prepaid massage
- A weekend stay at a spa
- A vacation
- Movie tickets
- Beautiful flowers
- Make the caregiver’s favorite meal
Focus on Self-Care
Many of those who work as caregivers rarely have the time to practice self-care. Because of their self-sacrificing instincts, they tend to do for others and think of themselves last. When searching for a gift, thinking about something that shows how you appreciate caregivers by giving them time to do something they love to do. This can range from giving them time to take a long, relaxing bath to purchasing a gift card to their favorite manicurist.
Acts of Kindness
One of the best things you can do for Family Caregiver Month is simply to ask a caregiver what you can do to help. Many caregivers will never ask for help on their own. Take the time to sit down with them and find out what they need from you. Another act of kindness is to simply listen – give them a sympathetic ear. Sometimes, just being able to voice your problems to a trusted friend or family member can make you feel immediately better.
If you and a circle of friends or family members can afford it, hiring at-home help can have a huge impact on the lives of caregivers. Even someone who comes by once or twice a week to help with issues such as laundry or house cleaning can make a significant difference.
Chip In For A Week
If you want to show caregiver appreciation, consider gathering together all your friends and/or family members and coming up with a schedule to handle all the chores for a week or more. Take care of issues such as sweeping, vacuuming, washing the dishes and doing the laundry. If you can make this something you do regularly, that’s even better. Family Caregiver Month offers a wonderful opportunity to appreciate caregivers and all the hard work they do. Don’t let the month get away without showing caregivers how much you care about them.