Caring for an aging loved one can be a rewarding experience. It often provides families with an opportunity to reconnect, reminisce, and bond. Time spent caregiving can create memories that last a lifetime.
Despite the rewards, however, the role isn’t easy. This is especially true for loved ones who assume the role of primary caregiver.
February 16 is National Caregivers Day. It’s a great time to express your appreciation to the caregiver in your family.
Ideas for Showing Your Appreciation to a Family Caregiver
Here are a few meaningful ways you can thank a primary caregiver:
- Offer to give them a break from caregiving, whether for a few hours or a few days a month. If you live far away, pay for an in-home caregiver to deliver care.
- Caregivers often feel isolated and alone. Make time to listen and connect. Call or visit the caregiver often, even if it’s just for a few minutes. You can also use video chat services like Skype or FaceTime to stay in touch.
- Stock the caregiver’s freezer with healthy meals they can heat up and serve. Because their days are so busy, caregivers frequently rely on fast food and convenience foods. Unfortunately, these types of meals are typically high in fat and sodium.
- Help with housekeeping or home repairs at the caregiver’s home. While the caregiver is busy taking care of their loved one, they may not have time to see to their own household. Either do it yourself or pay for a housekeeping service or handyman.
- Find a way for the caregiver to indulge in a day of pampering. Purchase a spa day for them (and schedule someone to care for their loved one during that time) or arrange for a spa technician or massage therapist to come to their home. It can provide them with much-needed time to relax and restore their own well-being.
- Offer to run errands for the caregiver. From getting the car washed to picking up the dry cleaning, these tasks can be difficult to squeeze into a busy caregiver’s day. Even better would be enlisting other family members to help. Schedule a few days a month where loved ones complete the jobs on the caregiver’s to-do list.
- Caregivers often worry what will happen to their loved one should they get sick or experience an emergency. You can give the caregiver peace of mind by helping them create an emergency backup plan. Research assisted living communities that offer respite care services. Make calls to home care agencies to explore their services. It’s a time-intensive process caregivers can’t often squeeze into their schedule. While personal visits are important, the initial round of research can be done from far away.
- Send the caregiver a thoughtful note that expresses your sincere appreciation for their work. In an age of text messages and emails, receiving a handwritten letter of thanks can be very meaningful.
Caregiver Support at Sunrise Senior Living
At Sunrise Senior Living, we know the important role family caregivers play. We created a resource center on our website to help make that role a little easier. Visit “Caregiver Support” to read articles on topics ranging from connecting with a support group to finding balance in life with caregiving.
If you have questions about respite care, assisted living, or memory care, we can assist you in finding answers. Call us at 888-434-4648 today!
Source: Sunrise Senior Living