Holiday Gift Ideas for Family Caregivers

December 14, 2012

Family caregivers have unique wish lists at holiday time

It’s the holiday season and it’s time for family caregivers to think about themselves for a while.  Family, friends and support teams are asking about holiday gift ideas for family caregivers.  That’s YOU!  Take a moment, now, and think about some gift ideas that will help you and comfort you as you focus on the care for your loved one.

Sit down and make a list of gift ideas for the family caregiver

You probably make dozens of lists already: grocery lists, appointment lists, prescription lists, and many more.  Now make a list of what would make your caregiving easier.

Now’s the time to think beyond bath salts and fruit cakes!

Why? It does a body good to dream and focus on imaginative gift ideas.  Let your imagination roam free!

Think beyond “things”

When making your list, don’t restrict it just to things that people can buy, especially if money is tight, as it is for so many of us!  Include more intangible gift ideas as well, because these may be things that really matter more.  Perhaps what you really need is an extra couple of hours of sleep on the weekend, a better disposition for Nana, or help getting Herb to and from the doctor. These needs can be every bit as important as something that can be put in a box.

After you have your list, strike off the gifts that are unrealistic, but as you do that, see if there’s some smaller version of those gifts that is perhaps more doable. For example, a brand new Rolls Royce for taking Mom to the doctor may be out of the question, but a tune-up for your “experienced” vehicle might not be out of the zone.

Above all, concentrate on the things that can make a difference in your quality of life as a caregiver.  Perhaps your daughter can give you the gift of phoning in and picking up prescription refills for three months or your cousin can take care of cooking dinner for you sometime.  Perhaps a friend could watch your loved one for a couple of hours once a month while you enjoy lunch with friends or family.

Don’t keep it to yourself

When your list is done, give it to those close friends and relatives that care for you and that you feel comfortable approaching, and let them choose. Alternatively, you might choose for them. You might say to your best friend, “Fred, there’s something I could really use for the holidays this year.  What would you think about letting Dad help you in your workshop once a month?  He and I would both get a lot out of it.”

At this time of year, people are anxious to give gifts that have real meaning to the recipients.  Home caregivers give so much of themselves; make it easier for others to really give back to you by suggesting some gifts that really make a difference.

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