This year, get the gifts you really want
This holiday season, tell family and friends what you’re truly hoping for so you don’t end up with stuff you don’t need or want.
We’ve got 11 thoughtful gift suggestions and have written them up as a list for your family and friends. We’ve included explanations to help them understand why these gifts are at the top of your wish list.
To nudge people in the right direction, send this article in an email and include a note that says something like, “Hello! In case a hint would help with your holiday shopping, I want to share my wish list with you. #1 or #6 in this article would be wonderful!”
11 thoughtful holiday gifts for caregivers
1. Regular breaks
Caring for an older adult takes a major toll on the mind and body. What caregivers need most is to take regular breaks to rest, recharge, and take care of their own health.
An amazing gift would be to commit to taking over their caregiving duties on a regular basis. That could mean one weekend every few months, one day a month, 3 hours each week, 2 hours every other week…whatever you can commit to 100% will be a big help.
2. Set up a series of coffee dates
Being a caregiver is lonely and isolating. After the holidays, don’t disappear into your own busy life. Set up a schedule for regular coffee or tea dates so you can continue to show your support throughout the year.
If you’re local, take them out to their favorite coffee shop or bring their favorite beverage to the house. If you live far away, give them a Starbucks gift card and make a phone date so they can sip their favorite drink while you talk.
While you’re chatting, don’t forget to ask how they, the caregiver, are doing. And figure out how you can help in other ways, rather than waiting for them to ask.
3. Relaxation and pampering
Caregivers are usually stressed out, so they could always use a little help to relax. A spa or massage gift certificate is a great way to de-stress and loosen tense muscles. Spafinder is a convenient way to find local spas and buy gift certificates.
If you can, give this as a two-part gift. The pampering gift certificate isn’t as helpful if they can’t leave the house because nobody else is available to care for their older adult. If you can’t help them out in person, add a gift card to help pay for some in-home care help.
4. Home-cooked meals
Eating nutritiously is a time- and energy-consuming task. Taking meal prep off a busy caregiver’s to do list is a great gift! Prepare meals that can be easily re-heated and load up their freezer.
5. A nice meal out
Another great present for caregivers is a gift certificate to their favorite restaurant.
An even better companion to this gift is to take care of their older adult (or pay for caregiving help) so they can actually leave the house to enjoy a nice meal.
6. A clean house
Cleaning often gets pushed to the bottom of a caregiver’s to do list, but it’s not comfortable or relaxing to live in a dirty house.
Arrange for a cleaning service or roll up your sleeves and do some cleaning yourself.
7. A well-maintained home
Whether it’s mowing the lawn, fixing a slow drain, or getting leaves out of the gutter, there are always household chores that need to be done.
As your gift, complete these chores yourself or hire a handyman. Even better, make this an ongoing gift and commit to helping with a few chores every month!
8. Encouragement and support to pursue hobbies
Many caregivers immerse themselves so completely in caring for an older adult that they lose touch with their own interests. Encourage them to regularly take time to pursue those hobbies by giving gifts that relate to their non-caregiving interests.
We don’t want to sound like a broken record, but the best part of the gift would be to give them the time off from caregiving so they can do something fun.
9. Stress management through journaling
Writing in a journal is a surprisingly effective way to reduce caregiver stress. Gifting them a beautiful or inspiring journal is a great way to encourage this therapeutic activity.
10. Relaxation with yoga
Yoga is good for the body and the mind. It helps press pause on the troubles of the day and encourages caregivers to clear their minds and stay in the present moment.
11. A heartfelt thank you
Along with your gift, include a thoughtful card from Senior Shower Project. These upbeat cards are designed by a caregiver and celebrate caregivers with specific messages of appreciation.
Better yet, buy a few cards and write notes of appreciation throughout the year.
The best gifts for caregivers are ones that make them feel supported and give them some well-deserved time off from caregiving so they can rest, recharge, and have some well-deserved fun.
By DailyCaring Editorial Team
Image: Breakthrough ALS