The Best Holiday Gifts for Caregivers

best gifts for caregivers

If you have a caregiver in your life, you’re quite fortunate! Having someone there to help you with whatever you might need to remain in your own home throughout your golden years is a wonderful gift. And while your caregivers might be happy to help you and get great satisfaction from knowing you are safe and healthy, they can still wind up feeling stressed at times.

There are many caregivers out there. According to AARP and the National Alliance for Caregiving, there are currently 53 million unpaid caregivers in the United States as of 2020, which is an enormous jump from the 43.5 million reported in 2015[1] – and keep in mind that this number could be even higher, as it doesn’t take into account those who worked as caregivers during the pandemic[2]. Many of these caregivers are family members who are dedicated to helping their elderly parent or other senior loved one stay in their own home for as long as they possibly can.

But while the work can be quite rewarding, the stress a family caregiver is under is real. More than one in four people find it difficult to coordinate care for their loved one. About 61% of caregivers also have jobs outside the home or other family members for whom they are primary caregivers, so they are juggling quite a bit. And about 23% of caregivers say that caring for an elderly loved one has affected their physical health[3].

Add in the common stressors of the holiday season and you may have a seriously stressed out caregiver!

The holidays are a great time to say thank you for all the caregivers do. Here are some great options to make them smile this winter.

Ways to Relax

According to the Family Caregiver Alliance, 63% of caregivers believe their lives are moderately to severely stressful. So when they do have downtime, they should be able to fully enjoy it. Giving them the gift of relaxation can not only boost their spirits but can also lower their heart rate and blood pressure, improve their digestion, help keep their blood sugar levels on an even keel, and so much more[4]. Here are a few options to tuck into a small gift basket:

·         Movie tickets or gift card

·         A journal and a pack of pens

·         An adult coloring book with crayons

·         Sudoku, crosswords, and other puzzle books

·         Bubble bath or bath bombs

·         A cuddly scarf, mug, and hot cocoa

·         Earplugs and an eye mask (for those caregivers who catch a nap when they can)

·         Gift cards for their favorite restaurants

·         Gift cards for massages, facials, and other self-care spa time

It may help caregivers to relax to know that when they can’t be present, you are still protected with a medical alert system with fall detection. When you choose to wear a medical alert pendant with these unique fall sensors inside, your caregiver can be comforted by the fact that if you do fall while they are not around, help will be on the way quickly. Peace of mind is priceless.

Coffee or Tea Hits the Spot

You might be wondering why coffee or tea has its own section on this list instead of going under “ways to relax.” But if you’re wondering that, you’ve never met a coffee or tea connoisseur. These individuals know their stuff! And they love to relax with that perfect cup.

Coffee works for either giving an energy boost or helping to unwind from a long day. Among those who love coffee, there are those who are in it for the caffeine, and then there are those who are in it for the adventure of tasting something new. Either way, there are so many varieties of coffee out there that the big challenge will be making a selection!

When it comes to tea, there are just as many varieties and devotees. There are as many ways to make tea as there are to make coffee, and just as many delicious things to add to the brew. Offer your favorite caregiver a top-notch coffee or tea to show them how much you appreciate them. Add in a generous-sized mug and maybe even some accessories, like a tea strainer.

Smell the Flowers

Giving someone a bouquet of flowers can make their day. Why not do that all year? The Society of American Florists points out that flowers can make a person feel less agitated, improve depression and anxiety, give a higher sense of enjoyment, and foster intimate connections. While getting them flowers for the holidays will definitely get a smile and a few days of comfort when they look at the beautiful blooms, a subscription of flowers that comes to their door once a month or so will give them something lovely to look forward to throughout the year.

Order Restores Calm

Many caregivers are swamped with things they must do. It’s not unusual for a caregiver to be up late at night, long after everyone else has gone to bed, finishing cleaning up those last dishes or doing the laundry. They might clean the house, cook the meals, do the laundry, run errands, plan out activities, drive their loved ones to appointments, etc.

According to Mental Health America, one in ten caregivers provides care to their elderly parents while also taking care of their own children. These individuals are part of the Sandwich Generation, because they are pressed between two generations who need care. One of the best ways to alleviate their burdens is to hire a housekeeping service. A once-a-week service can free up several hours of time for your caregiver, and that can help them breathe easier. Seek out professionals who are known to do a thorough, fast job. Ask your neighbors and friends for referrals!

The Better “Fast” Food

With such busy days, it can feel impossible to put together a nutritious meal for dinner. Solve that problem with a subscription to a meal box delivery service. These meal boxes allow a person to choose their own meals and deliver at least a few nights’ worth of dinners to the doorstep every week. They come with all the ingredients so there are no last-minute runs to the store. And there are almost always options for those who are vegetarian, vegan, or on other special diets. These meal kits can allow your caregiver to enjoy a unique meal that took only minutes to make and is likely much healthier than any sort of fast food they might pick up on the way home.

Assistive Devices

Being a caregiver can be tough on the body. Not only is a caregiver likely not getting enough sleep, they might not be exercising enough or eating well. But there is also the very real possibility of injury, especially if they are expected to help their charges move around the home or transfer them from one place to another, such as from the wheelchair to the shower seat. Did you know that 94% of caregivers experience pain in at least one body part, and two-thirds of them say that the pain impacts their quality of life[5]?

There are a few gifts that might help them out. A patient lift can make life easier for both of you (and since it’s durable medical equipment, it’s often covered by Medicare, Medicaid, or private insurance)[6]. A gift card to a massage therapist can help them find relaxation through targeted massage.

Another great help for peace of mind is a medical alert wireless system. Wearing one yourself can give your caregiver the comfort of knowing that if they must run an errand or otherwise leave you at home alone, you can reach out for help by simply touching a button. They can be rest assured that if an accident does occur, you can get help fast—even when they’re not around. If you opt for an affordable emergency response solution with fall detection, that’s even more peace of mind for both you and for your caregiver.

There are many ways to show appreciation for your caregiver, including the wonderful gifts you can give to make life easier for everyone. Alert1 wishes you all the joys and peace of the holiday season!