Chances are you know a caregiver. It could be the teacher at your child’s school, balancing classroom duties and caring for an aging parent after the bell rings. Maybe it’s your coworker who also takes care of a chronically ill spouse at home. Or your friend who makes time to catch up despite a busy schedule assisting a disabled sibling with everyday tasks.
With caregivers playing such a vital role for loved ones — a spouse, child, parents or even a friend — it’s important that caregivers be supported too. Becoming a full-time caregiver is usually not a role anyone is prepared to take on and can often come with challenges and emotional hardships. However, creating connection and building support networks can provide a safety net for caregivers and give them somewhere to turn when navigating new or difficult situations.
Supportive communities and resources are important for caregivers in every season. An easy first step in showing up for the caregivers in your own life is to express gratitude and establish yourself as a means of support and understanding.
Need help getting started? Consider these 10 ways to say thanks to a caregiver in your life:
1. Write a thank-you note.
Whether short and sweet or long and detailed, a simple letter expressing gratitude and recognizing everything caregivers do is an easy way to say thanks and create connection.
2. Send them a personal gift.
Gift cards and other small tokens of gratitude are a great way to express thanks and provide caregivers with something for themselves, encouraging self-care and prioritizing caregiver wellbeing.
3. Give the gift of time so they can benefit from self-care.
Another way to encourage self-care is by stepping in for caregivers for a few hours, allowing them some free time to take care of themselves and do what they enjoy.
4. Make regular visits.
Caregiving can often be an isolating role, as many of the people receiving care may have limited mobility or spend most of their time at home. In this, it’s important to physically show up for the caregiver in your life and spend quality time with them.
5. Gift them a journal or planner.
An important role of caregivers is to keep track of appointments, medication schedules and more. Gifting a journal or planner to help them stay organized can be an easy way to support their everyday life.
6. Express your gratitude with food.
Not only does cooking a meal for a caregiver help alleviate some of their workload, but it’s also an effective way to connect with those around you and spark meaningful conversations.
7. Exercise together.
Many studies suggest that exercising with a caregiver and the person receiving care can improve both mental and physical health, making it an easy way to show thanks and prioritize wellbeing.
8. Plan a movie night.
Express thanks by arranging a movie night, setting aside time to connect and bond over a favorite movie of theirs.
9. Have a portrait taken.
A powerful way to create connection and meaningful memories is by having a portrait taken of caregiver and care recipient, gifting an image that will always remind them of the vital role they play.
10. Create a team of support.
One of the best ways to support the caregiver in your life and express consistent gratitude for all they do is by surrounding them with a network of resources and creating a caregiver support team.
Whether it’s by saying thanks, helping to establish a caregiver support network or simply spending quality time, showing up for the caregivers in your life can have an immense impact on their wellbeing, and, in turn, can improve the quality of care they provide.
For additional resources and to learn more about how you can ensure the caregiver in your life feels supported at every turn, connect with Careforth.