Whether you’re picking out a Christmas gift or looking for a way to express your gratitude for a special caregiver in your life any time of the year, finding the perfect gift can be challenging. We’ve rounded up our picks of top seven gifts for brightening any caregiver’s holiday season.
1. The Gift of Health
Caregiving can be a serious detriment to the wellness of caregivers — particularly those who fail to put themselves first. Giving a caregiver the incentive to start taking control of her own health and fitness is truly the gift that keeps on giving. It not only opens the door to short-term change, but also to a lifetime of happier, healthier living.
Our specific picks in this area? A wearable fitness tracker, gym membership or Wii Fit.
2. The Gift of Peace
While some caregivers struggle to safeguard their physical health, others face greater struggles when it comes to their emotional wellbeing. Offering them the time they need check out, relax, de-stress and recharge can be a priceless present.
We suggest a gift certificate to a spa or wellness clinic or sessions at a local yoga studio. (Just make sure you’re available to help make arrangements for respite care, if necessary.) Massages are also a great gift for caregivers as many massage therapists will come to the house for treatments.
3. The Gift of Luxury
For caregivers, what most of us take for granted can be an unattainable luxury. Simple gifts designed to pamper often have a wonderful side effect: they can help people overwhelmed by the day to day tasks of caregiving reconnect with their sense of self.
We recommend the gift of a manicure or pedicure — both of which embody indulgence.
If the caregiver you’re shopping for enjoys dining out, meanwhile, a restaurant gift certificate can also deliver a peaceful uninterrupted meal.
Does the recipient love watching television or trips to the movies? If so a subscription to Hulu or Netflix or movie tickets are a thoughtful gesture.
4. The Gift of Empathy
Some caregivers need nothing more than to know that they are not alone for these caregivers a small yet meaningful gift can have particular significance.
We recommend a book on caregiving, or other caregiver-specific memento or item, such as a framed photo of the caregiver and recipient.
5. The Gift of Practicality
While extravagant gifts like flowers and chocolate have their time and place, many caregivers require something much simpler. Perhaps they are struggling to keep up with the housework, laundry or another domestic task. If so, a more practical gift will get a lot more mileage in terms of improving the caregiver’s life.
We recommend a gift of house cleaning, laundry service, snow removal, grocery shopping, or meal delivery. If you can’t afford to pay a service to handle these tasks, do it yourself or enlist a crew of family members and friends.
6. The Gift of Yourself
Sometimes more than anything a caregiver needs company. At other times, she may need respite. Understanding these needs and offering your help in meeting them will go a long way to lightening her load.
Our picks in this category? If you are shopping for a friend or family member caregiver, volunteer an activity you can do together — such as a night on the town or shopping excursion. If you’re shopping for a caregiver with whom you don’t share a personal relationship, the gift of respite has great value.
One last thing to keep in mind when choosing presents for caregivers? Keep their personality at the forefront of the gift selection process, and be realistic: After all, there’s no point in giving a gift that can’t or won’t be used. Conversely, a gift targeted to a caregiver’s individual taste, wants and needs can become an invaluable lifeline and show of support during challenging times.
For more useful information on senior caregiving and caregiving, be sure to bookmark The Senior List.