Caring for Caregivers: How to Honor Their Efforts
According to the latest statistics from National Alliance for Caregiving, there are approximately 43.5 million caregivers in the U.S. that provide unpaid care to an adult or child, many of whom have special needs or chronic illness. And while caregiving is often a labor of love, it can be both mentally and physically stressful for the one giving aid.
Here are just a few of the ways you can show appreciation for those who dedicate their lives – or even a part of their time – to assisting others:
It’s often difficult for those who aren’t caregivers to fully understand their struggles. Sharing resources such as support groups, forums, training sessions or informational sites with caregivers can make it easier for them to learn from – and lean on – others in similar situations. Sites such as HealthFinder.gov and CaregiverAction.org can also be useful for caregivers monitoring their patients’ wellbeing.
Offer Time Off
Taking care of a patient or ailing family member is often a 24/7 commitment, so surprising a caregiver with a day off is one of the most thoughtful things you can do. As an extra special reward, give them a gift certificate for their favorite spa, restaurant or recreational pursuit to make sure they get in some personal R&R.
Most caregivers have causes that affect them and that they care deeply about. If they’re working with a patient dealing with Alzheimer’s, cancer or another disease that has a charitable foundation behind it, give what you can to the organization of their choice. And making the donation in their name is a great way to pay their good deeds forward.
Share Their Significance
Show a caregiver how important they are by teaching others about what they do. Share information on caregiving with family members and friends through social media. Get together with others to write a thank you letter or card to caregivers you know, expressing how much they mean to you.
Services ranging from housecleaning and food delivery to doggy daycare can take over some of the daily chores that deplete a caregiver’s time. Choose one that fits the needs of the caregiver in your life, sign them up and offer to pay for some – or all – of the service fees.
Acting on one or more of these suggestions will brighten the day of someone who cares generously.
KEY DATES IN MARCH:
- MARCH 1: Employee Appreciation Day
- MARCH 1: National Salesperson Day
- MARCH 5: Mardi Gras
- MARCH 17: St. Patrick’s Day
- MARCH 20: International Earth Day
- MARCH 23: National Puppy Day