While National Family Caregiver Month may be over, NOAH knows a few things:
- Caregivers deserve to be honored, appreciated, and supported all year.
- Being a family caregiver over the last last two years has meant something different than in past years.
Caregivers who are helping family members, friends, or loved ones who are aging in place or dealing with an illness (or both) give so much of themselves all year. How should you celebrate a caregiver in your life through the holiday season? We have some ideas.
But first, understand that being a caregiver during the pandemic has been a much different experience.
Many adult and child daycare centers have closed at some point during the pandemic. Some families have opted to make alternate permanent arrangements for their loved ones. What those care centers provide is a sense of community for the aging or ill individual, and respite for the caregiver. Additionally, some organizations that offered other services like meal deliveries have had to adjust to sometimes inconsistent volunteers or staff.
Lastly, there is stress and concern. Caring for older adults and people chronic illnesses or diseases can be even harder when a virus is in the community that is especially dangerous to the person you are caring for.
This gives everyone even more reason to celebrate these individuals throughout the holiday season! Here are some ideas:
- Food is always a welcome choice! If you can order meals to have delivered or drop off something for the caregiver so they don’t have to cook for themselves later, that will be a welcome gift.
- Help stock their supplies. If you know what they need to provide care, you can help them out with extra supplies, or even books, games, puzzles, or other activities the patient or caregiver enjoy.
- Personal pampering for caregivers. A personalized coffee mug for the coffee lover, a calming candle for the caregiver who likes to create a peaceful space, a journal for the writer, and lotion for everyone – because we are all (thankfully) washing our hands a lot more – are all great ways to show appreciation.
Everyone loves a thoughtful gift but showing gratitude and understanding for the hard work caregivers do every day is one of the nicest ways to celebrate them this holiday season and all year.