Young parent caregivers are usually on everyone’s radar as family or friends that could use a little help or TLC around the holidays but those who care for elderly parents or a spouse are sometimes forgotten. Caregiving, especially for a loved-one with dementia, can be a round-the-clock job which leaves very little time for self care, individual interests or social events. The stress of managing the care of a loved-one can be overwhelming and many caregivers withdraw socially as a result of the demands of their task.
This holiday season when you are shopping for the perfect gift for all your friends and family, don’t forget those close to you who may be giving of themselves all year round and could sorely use some help or a gift of pampering.
10 Gift Ideas for Caregivers
- Shop for and prepare the holiday meal if that is something the caregiver usually does.
- Arrange for respite care and buy tickets to an event
- Buy a gift certificate for a massage, facial or mani-pedi (and provide respite care)
- Deliver a prepared meal complete with dessert
- Arrange a visit at a convenient time or help with an outing
- Hire a cleaning service to do a deep clean before family arrives
- Offer to do the decorating for the holidays
- Stock the fridge with lots of healthy and easy to prepare foods
- Give a gift certificate for yoga classes and make respite care arrangements
- A cosy bathrobe, slippers or other comforting item and a good book
Just by taking a moment to talk and listen to the daily worries of a caregiver, you are helping them cope and remain socially engaged. It’s easy to pull away when life’s stresses are wearing you down but reaching out to a caregiver, as we may all be at some point in our lives, can be a lifesaver.
Just because Mom always made Christmas dinner from scratch doesn’t mean she is up for the task after becoming a full-time caregiver for her husband or aging parent. New traditions can be just as enjoyable and by being flexible and allowing expectations to change with time and circumstances, the holidays needn’t be a stressful time for families.
To learn more about offering caregiver support, visit the Family Caregiver Alliance National Center on Caregiving’s website here.
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