Everyone knows at least one Caregiver.
You more than likely know a few. On your street, she is the neighbour looking after an ageing parent. It might be your old schoolmate who tends to his spouse suffering from Alzheimer’s, or a friend looking after a child with special needs.
Look around you, Caregivers are everywhere.
Their selfless devotion to their roles sometimes goes unappreciated. So here are just a few ways you can say thank you to someone who is a Caregiver.
1. Invite them for coffee and a chat.
A quick social meet-up may be just what they need. Caregivers do not always have a few hours to spare, to go out and eat or to visit the local cinema. This can be frustrating as they become increasingly isolated from their social circle. However, they might have time for a coffee. The chance to meet with someone who is not part of the caregiving routine will help break up their day and give them a relaxing space to unwind. Be willing to listen if they need to talk.
2. Make them a meal.
Sometimes it is nice not having to cook. The Caregiver you know might be tired of preparing meals or sticking to dietary requirements while cooking. Give them a break and drop in a home-cooked meal. If you can’t cook, buy a freshly prepared meal and drop it in.
3. Offer to go shopping for them.
Caregivers often do the grocery shopping for their loved ones as well as for themselves and their family. Since so many Caregivers have children and jobs of their own help relieve the shopping burden and offer to pick up a few items for them so they can spend the extra time with their family or catch up on their own ‘to-do’ list.
4. Put together a playlist of music for them.
Music has been proven to help relieve stress. Maybe it’s a collection of their favourite tunes or a playlist of songs that will encourage serenity and calm. Or maybe it will encourage them to dance. Either way this kind deed will help shake off the stress. Loan them your favourite CD or create an online playlist using services such as Spotify, YouTube, or Hypster.
5. Mow the lawn.
Gardening and homecare are those to-do items that often get bumped for more urgent tasks. There are always constant nagging reminders that they still need doing even especially when a Caregiver’s time is diverted elsewhere. Small efforts around a Caregiver’s home can have an enormous impact in creating a calm environment. Mow the lawn, trim back a hedge or water the flowers. It’s small things like this that help.
6. Write a thank you note.
Written words of encouragement and gratitude give Caregivers a much needed boost. Tell a Caregiver why you are thankful for them as a person or what you thought when you last saw them do something kind or beautiful. Make them feel appreciated.
7. Schedule a quick walk.
Ask them if they would like to join you on a short walk around the neighbourhood. A quick stroll will boost their endorphins and give them time off from their tough roles. The extra exercise will shake off any cobwebs and improve mood.
8. Give them a gift.
It might only be something small but the smallest things can mean the most. It might be a bunch of flowers, a gift card for the local salon or spa, or a bottle of wine. Find out what they like and show them your appreciation. Whatever it is, it will be a nice surprise.
9. Movie night.
If they cannot leave their Care Receiver alone in the house offer to call by with a movie and some snacks in the evening. They might appreciate the down time and company. And of course, the delicious snacks.
10. Ask how you can help them.
When in doubt, just ask. Perhaps they need someone to run an errand, take the car to get the oil changed, or simply give them a hug. Most of all, ask if they need to talk.