As we get closer to Christmas, many of us are caught up in the “Season of Giving.” During this year-end season we come together as a community to open up our wallets and give to those in need.
One group that often gets overlooked at this time of year are caregivers. Their “season” of giving may last many months or years as they care for a chronically ill child or an aging parent. They often give to the point of exhaustion — asking for little in return.
Check out the staggering statistics about caregivers that you probably don’t know:
- There are over 43 million unpaid caregivers in the United States.
- Over 15 million adult family caregivers are taking care of some with Alzheimer’s or other dementia-related diseases.
- Women provide 75% of the caregiving duties despite working full-time and taking care of their own families.
This astonishing number of caregivers are exhausted and deserve some TLC during the holiday season. Here are some great “gift” ideas for the caregiver in your community or family:
- Time off. Many caregivers have little time for themselves and would greatly benefit from the offer of some time off. Why not offer to stay with their family member for a few hours to give the caregiver a chance to enjoy some much-needed downtime.
- Home-cooked meals. Pre-made freezer meals make a great gift. Caregivers are often spending much of their day helping with acts of daily living for their loved one — such as bathing, dressing, and toileting. So, having a quick and easy meal to prepare is a welcome relief to most caregivers. Here are 10 Healthy Meals Make-Ahead Meals For Seniors & Caregivers.
- Emotional support. It may seem like a small gesture, but receiving regular phone calls, emails, or text messages can help a caregiver get through the difficult long days of caregiving. Taking the time to catch up with a friend, laugh about a challenge, or giving a shoulder to lean on is a huge gift to a struggling caregiver. Schedule phone calls ahead and try some of these ideas to keep in contact.
- Spa treatments. Many caregivers would rather give than receive. But we all benefit from some pampering to refuel for the days ahead. Not sure where to start? Check out The Complete Guide To Spa Gift Cards.
- Help with home maintenance. Helping with outside yard work or small home repairs can be a valuable gift to a caregiver that needs to devote most of their attention to a loved one with dementia. Can’t find the time to help? Consider using Angie’s List To Finding & Hiring A Handyman a try!
- Visits from friends. Scheduling short visits to the home can be a great way to break up the day for a caregiver. It gives them a chance to focus on something else for a time.
The number of caregivers is going to continue to rise and these dedicated givers will continue to need your support throughout the year. A Senior Health Advisor can also take some of the weight off of the caregiver.
Feel free to pass on this gift: invite your friend to take advantage of our free 15-minute consultation to see how we can help to alleviate their burden of caregiving.
During this season of giving… remember that offering support and compassion to a struggling caregiver is a priceless gift!