Posts Tagged ‘Caregivers’

Gifts for the Caregiver

When a birthday or holiday arrives, so begins the difficult task of choosing a gift for the caregiver. Often, the caregiver knows what they need but is too embarrassed or “self- sufficient” to ask. If you are a caregiver and have trouble asking for things, send a link to this article to all your family.

First, let’s be realistic about the phrase, “Just let me know what you need and I’ll do it”. By and large, that is not going to happen. We are not a society conditioned to ask for or accept help graciously. The following is a list of gifts that any caregiver would find wonderful!

Scheduled Relief
The best way to offer this gift is for 2 or more family members to get together and make up a gift card something like this: “On the second Thursday of each month we (insert names here) would like to offer you a treat. We will all arrive at your home around 6:00 PM. Please be dressed and ready to go out to dinner, our treat. One or more of us will enjoy a meal with you at the restaurant of your choice while one or more of us will stay with our loved one. We will firm up plans on the second Monday of each month through a phone call.” That gives the caregiver a set date and time to plan for and it gives the gift givers a consistent date to plan the rest of their lives around.

Prepared or Purchased Meals
Another great gift for the caregiver might be drop ship, fully prepared meals for two. There are many services available. Search the Internet for “drop ship meals for seniors” or “home delivery of frozen meals for seniors”. For the caregiver, this will help not only with time and effort to prepare meals but also with the cost. If the cost of drop ship meals is too expensive for your budget, try purchasing gift cards to restaurants that deliver. An even more economical choice would be to prepare meals yourself, taking several over once per month to be used at the caregiver’s convenience.

Outdoor Care
If you live nearby and are so inclined, a gift of bi-weekly lawn mowing throughout lawn mowing season would be of great help. If you can afford it, purchasing a season-long contract with a landscaping company will take the worry out of what to do about the yard each year.

Stylist
One of the best gifts you can give a caregiver is one they use only for themselves; if a woman, to her stylist and if a man, to his barber. The caregiver will let themselves go in order to pay for some needed item for the care receiver. My mother has been getting her hair “done” once per week for her entire adult life. Each Christmas, Mother’s Day and Birthday I purchase a gift certificate in the amount needed to pay for 12 hair-dos and one permanent. Her stylist is thrilled to have one lump sum of cash each time I come in and mom is able to keep up her hair which is very important to her.

Cable Television
Another gift I recently purchased for mom is one that most people do not think of: cable television. Mother has basic cable but she loves a channel that shows westerns and another channel that shows sit-coms and movies geared towards senior adults. Those two channels are a part of premium service that she cannot afford. I went to my local cable store and asked that they set up the premium service and put that portion on my cable bill. Because she is inside most of the time now it is more enjoyable for her, watching TV she likes and for me, a relatively low cost gift meted out over 12 months.

Time
The final and probably the most welcome is the gift of time. Visit the caregiver in person, by telephone or by Skype regularly. Set up a consistent time and date convenient for you both and then don’t miss it! While it may take several times for them to accept the visits, they will quickly begin to look forward to them. Especially if you don’t judge how they feel or what they are doing. Just listen.

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