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8 Simple Ways to Thank Your Family Caregiver

Millions of caregivers each year in the U.S. provide unpaid care for a loved one. These caregivers, known as "informal caregivers," may be a spouse, partner, family member, friend, neighbor-or, most often, an adult child. The average family caregiver helps with managing medications, preparing meals, taking care of housekeeping duties, and assisting with basic needs like bathing, grooming, and toileting. Different levels of caregiving vary from part-time to round-the-clock care. However, handling the non-medical aspects of caregiving can offer family members peace of mind knowing that their parent’s needs are being seen to. Caregivers don’t often ask for much in return. However, they may appreciate an occasional token of gratitude. How can you thank your family caregiver for all they do? Celebrated every November, National Family Caregivers Month is the perfect opportunity to say thank you to your family caregiver. Consider the following ideas, if you’re struggling with how to say “thanks” to your caregiver this holiday season.

1.Express Your Gratitude Verbally – This may sound simplistic, but too many people forget how much words of appreciation matter. Thank your caregiver when you notice him or her showing compassion and patience toward your loved one. Thank him or her when they provide you with a report of the day. Thank your caregiver when you notice an improvement in your loved one or when you recognize that the companionship they provide is making a difference.

2. Offer time off.

Being a caregiver can be hard. There is an emotional side of caregiving and feelings of frustration, anxiety, anger, depression, fear, guilt, loss, and tiredness can be common. These feelings can be amplified for those with a job and other family members to care for. Consider giving your family caregiver a day off and suggest that they take time out for themselves. If it’s difficult to manage your daily tasks without your family caregiver for even a short period of time, consider hiring temporary help as an alternative. There are many options such as:

  • Respite care: A short-term care option offered in a senior assisted living community that offers the elderly or disabled day-to-day supportive services.

  • In-home services: Some community agencies, support groups, and faith-based organizations have volunteers who can help occasionally or on a regular basis.

  • Home health care: To use home health services, a doctor must write the orders for the plan of care. Once approved, a wide range of health care services can be given in the home. Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) and/or Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) sometimes covers eligible home health services.

  • Community programs: Adult day care programs typically offer health monitoring, meals, snacks, exercise, and sometimes transportation, therapy, medical care, and personal care.

  • Residential facilities: Nursing homes and assisted living facilities often have short-term stay options.

3. Spend quality time together.

Quality time with your caregiver can be a great way to express your gratitude and remember the shared bond beyond the routine day-to-day tasks of caregiving. Consider watching a classic movie together over a bowl of popcorn, playing a game of cards, looking through old photo albums and recalling happy memories, or sitting in a nearby park and feeding the ducks.

4. Give a thoughtful gift.

A gift for your caregiver is a kind token of appreciation for all they do for you. Think about your caregiver’s time and what they would appreciate most. Flowers, a gift card, cash, or a donation to an organization in their name are all thoughtful gifts that show their hard work has not gone unnoticed.

5. Tell Them How You Can Help

Instead of asking how you can help, tell them what you can do. The strain of being a caregiver is already overwhelming; figuring out ways everyone can help adds another thing on their to-do list.

Swing by to walk the dog, wash their car or drop off pizza from their favorite spot – whatever you can do to help with life’s daily chores. It will be a show of gratitude they won’t forget.

6. Make Their Holiday Special – If you have hired a caregiver to assist with your loved one on a holiday, do what you can to make it a special holiday for the caregiver as well. Perhaps give them a gift basket or some flowers to show your appreciation for the fact that they are taking time away from their family to help yours.

7.  Let the Supervisor Know – If you are particularly fond of a hired caregiver, let their supervisor know. Share some examples of how the caregiver goes above and beyond so that they can be recognized in their place of work.

8. Give Them a Bonus – A good caregiver is a valuable asset to a family. Find out what kind of bonuses are allowed by the company the caregiver works for so that you can show them how valuable they are to you by giving them some extra pocket money.


We hope these 8 ideas sparked some inspiration for how to say thanks to your family caregiver.


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