When making your gift-giving list this Christmas, don't forget the family caregivers in your life. Perhaps it's a sibling caring for your parents, or your parent caring for your grandparents. Maybe a friend caring for their parents while raising a family of their own. Whatever the circumstance, family caregivers all over the nation are taking on the task of dividing their time between caring for both older and younger family members. The holidays can be stressful on their own, but throw in this added responsibility and the stress increases.
This holiday season, take the opportunity to ease their burdens with a thoughtful gift. Here are our top suggestions: 1. Time. Any caregiver will appreciate a break from their responsibilities and a chance to do something they enjoy like going to a movie, a fitness class, or a lunch date with a friend. Even quiet moments to read or time to run errands are sometimes considered a luxury when our schedules are so jam-packed. Look into Respite Care as a way to provide a break for them to refresh and recharge. We'd be happy to answer any questions you may have as well, call us any time at (208)963-5655 2. Gift cards. Often we let the things we enjoy slip on our list of priorities as we make time for other obligations. By presenting a family caregiver with a gift card, whether to a favorite coffee shop, restaurant, department store, spa, movie theater, or other entertainment venue, this can encourage them to schedule the time for self-care. 3. A personable gift reflecting their interests. Taking into account the caregiver's hobbies, tastes, lifestyle, and talents you can find a personable gift that will reflect those interests. If they enjoy reading, a subscription to Audible.com is a way for them to escape in a good book. Having the books on CD will allow them to listen in the car or while doing other tasks such as housework or cooking if finding time to read is a challenge. A subscription to a magazine is also a thoughtful gift. Amazon.com has a best sellers list reflecting topics from cooking, sports, science, and more. Putting together a themed gift basket doesn't have to be expensive, and they'll appreciate the thought and effort. 4. Health. Next month brings a New Year and with that comes thoughts of resolutions. If the family caregiver in your life has indicated that they would enjoy a fitness class or learning how to live a healthier lifestyle, a membership to a gym, home exercise equipment, or signing up for a healthy cooking class can assist them in reaching that goal. 5. Services. When taking on the responsibility of caring for a loved one, the tasks in our own home can fall behind. This can cause added stress and feelings of guilt that the caregiver is unable to "do it all". Finding a reputable cleaning service or yard service can help lighten their load. Any of these accessories on this list of 20 Great Tools to Keep Your Life Organized can help reduce stress. 6. Encouragement. Caregiving is hard, and sometimes the caregiver can feel as though their efforts are overlooked. A thoughtful note expressing appreciation for what they do can make all the difference. A jar of inspirational quotes can be something that they can reach into throughout the year and find encouragement. Even just letting them know that you are there to listen can lighten the burden they may be feeling. We hope this list brings the true meaning of the season to the forefront amid the frenzy that we so often get caught up in. Because when it comes down to it, the best gift of all is spending time together.