How to Show Your Appreciation for the Caregivers in Your Life

November is National Caregivers Month, and we’re here to talk about how we can better show our appreciation to those whose life is dedicated to the support of others. You’d be surprised how many individuals have recently stepped into a caregiving role for a loved one as a result of new virtual schooling requirements or multigenerational housing accommodations. Research shows that the Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the caregiving crisis significantly, reporting a 55 percent increase in self-identified caregivers over the previous year.

The Role of a Caregiver The daily responsibilities of long-term caregivers can vary and are often tailored to meet the specific needs of each individual. On average, a caregiver might handle anything from grooming to scheduling appointments, plant care, medication management, laundry or food preparation. This type of work requires a foundation in empathy, kindness and patience because not every day is easy. If you know a caregiver who has helped you or a loved one, consider taking any of our suggestions below on how to show your gratitude:

1. Provide Time Off

The role of a caregiver often goes beyond the traditional 9 AM – 5 PM work schedule. These individuals provide consistent support that can be requested most hours of the day. As such, it can be hard to step away and take a break. If you’re able, coordinate a day off for your caregiver. Ask a family member or friend to step in to make sure regular responsibilities can be taken care of during this time period. Small gestures like these can help prevent burnout and improve a caregiver’s ability to address their own physical and mental health needs.

2. Create Connections

A support network is one of the best ways caregivers can address their individual concerns or get help when their role presents new challenges. All caregivers should regularly maintain connections with friends, family and industry professionals to avoid feelings of isolations or helplessness. The relationships we cultivate, whether in-person or digitally, can have a profound impact on our attitude and outlook. Find ways to connect your caregiver to other like minded individuals and help them build their long-term support system.

3. Send a Gift

If you’re looking for something to wrap up in a bag or bow, always think about the individual first. What does this specific caregiver like? What are their hobbies? What have they expressed

interest in? With the answers to those questions in mind, purchase a gift that they’ll enjoy and appreciate, whether it’s a gift card to the spa or a dinner for two.

If you’d like to create a more personalized gift, consider involving those they care for to create a fun craft to share. From paper flowers to clay figurines and custom cards, a gift with a personal touch can brighten anyone’s day. Arts and crafts are also a great way to engage those living with dementia or Alzheimer’s, keeping the mind active and promoting the use of fine motor skills.

4. Say “Thanks”

While it might seem simple, one of the best ways you can express gratitude to caregivers is by saying what you’re thinking out loud! Too often, we keep our, “thanks” silent and assume the other person knows that we appreciate their work. Simple reminders to your caregiver that they’re doing a great job and you are thankful for their support can make all the difference.

Caregiving is a fulfilling job, but one that can sometimes feel overwhelming or isolating. We challenge everyone to set a goal to recognize and appreciate these individuals year-round, and continue to share your support for those who are dedicated to providing care for others.

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