Caregiving is usually a full time, 24 hour a day, seven day a week job. People in need of extra care don’t need it on a nine to five basis. That is why caregivers experience high levels of stress and exhaustion. It’s also why caregivers are such exceptional people.
One may think that finding a way to thank a caregiver for their dedication and compassion requires an expensive gift, but the most meaningful thank you’s come from the heart. Here are some ways in which caregivers can be thanked for their work; gestures they will remember for a long time.
The gift of time is perhaps most precious to a full time caregiver.
- Step in and take over for an hour or a day. Insist upon it. Discuss care details with the caregiver, then arrive at the appointed day and time to give them a break. They may not know what to do with the afternoon but you can begin by giving them the address of the nearest coffee shop!
- Run errands for the caregiver. Offer to go to the grocery store and pick up their personal groceries, then deliver the goods to their home. It will deliver a precious break and a bit of extra time.
- Offer to take the person in their care to doctor’s appointments and stop at the pharmacy on the way home. This gives caregivers a break and some time for themselves.
- Hire a housekeeper for the caregiver. Budgets will determine the number of housekeeping visits that can be made. Even one or two visits to clean the house around the holidays will be an enormous gift for a tired caregiver.
Simple gestures speak the loudest.
- Mail a handwritten thank you note to the caregiver. It’s an old-fashioned, gracious way to thank them for their commitment to the person in their care.
- Mail a letter telling the caregiver what s/he means to the family. Expressing heartfelt, honest emotions is a moving way to thank a caregiver for time and dedication.
- Purchase a gift card to the local coffee shop. It can be a small denomination. This is a case where the thought really does count!
- During the lunch hour, stop and pick up a special sandwich and drink and deliver it to the caregiver. The delight on his or her face will return the thank you to you on the spot.
- Simply say “Thank you.” Take the time to look the caregiver in the eye and tell him or her what their care means to you. A genuine expression of gratitude is a powerful gift.