Holiday Gift Guide: Making the Season Bright for Family Caregivers

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Home Instead shares ways to celebrate those who care for older loved ones

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‘Tis the season for joy and celebration, particularly this year as many of us look to once again reunite with friends and family. The holidays are a time to express gratitude for those in our lives, and family caregivers are an important group to recognize and celebrate. These individuals give so much of themselves every day to ensure their loved ones are cared for and supported. And while they serve in a role that calls for putting the needs of others before their own, the holiday season offers an opportunity to let them know you are thinking of them and appreciate the remarkable work they do.

You likely know someone who serves in this important role, whether a family member, someone at work or in the community. In fact, according to AARP, an estimated 53 million Americans are providing unpaid care for relatives and friends – 61% of whom also juggle outside employment. Furthermore, family caregivers provide an average of 23.7 hours of care each week. This number goes up substantially for those whose care recipients live with them (37.4 hours per week), making caregiving the equivalent to a full-time job.

“Many caregivers find reward in helping their loved ones, doing so with compassion and joy. But caregiving is an extremely demanding role,” said Lakelyn Hogan, Ph.D., gerontologist and caregiver advocate at Home Instead. “While every day is an opportunity to celebrate them, the holidays are a great reminder to recognize their hard work by showing them support and appreciation in return.”

Many caregivers aren’t looking for big, expensive gifts. They are generous givers – of their time, energy and love – which is what makes their role all the more meaningful. A small gift or act of kindness can go a long way in making a caregiver feel appreciated.

To learn more about how we can give back to those who are constantly giving to others, Home Instead polled family caregivers on what they hoped to receive during the holidays this year; appreciation and time off topped the list for many. As you prepare for the holidays, consider some of the following gift ideas for the caregivers in your life:

  • Recognition. The pressures of caregiving can leave many feeling stressed out and underappreciated. Small gifts like handwritten cards from family members, friends or care recipients can go a long way in showing caregivers you are thankful for all that they do. Couple this with a fresh bouquet of flowers to truly brighten their day.
  • Your Time. Give the gift of time and support by offering to help with caregiving tasks, whether for an afternoon or a few days. This gives caregivers a moment to rest, recharge and focus on their own health – because when a caregiver’s needs are met, the care recipient will benefit as well. If you are unable to provide assistance, consider seeking out the temporary support of a professional caregiver. A more formal arrangement such as respite care can be a solution to helping caregivers get a much-needed break.
  • Gift cards and subscription services. Treat a caregiver to the things they enjoy with a gift certificate to their favorite restaurant, store, coffee shop or spa. Paying for meal delivery services or a streaming platform can also offer caregivers a chance to wind down and practice self-care.
  • Acts of service. Sometimes the act of lending a helping hand is the best gift. Whether it’s loading up the fridge with home-cooked meals or offering to clean up around the house or yard, small acts of service can be a huge help in making caregivers’ lives easier and manageable.

As you plan your holiday shopping this season, remember to include caregivers on your list. Celebrating family caregivers and offering support is something you can do now and year-round to make a meaningful impact. And don’t forget the seniors in your life – a thoughtful gift can make this holiday season even more special for our older loved ones. For more gift ideas, visit: https://www.homeinstead.com/care-resources/wellness-lifestyle/holiday-gift-guide/.

ABOUT HOME INSTEAD
Founded in 1994 in Omaha, Nebraska, the Home Instead® franchise network provides personalized care, support and education to enhance the lives of aging adults and their families. Today, the network is the world's leading provider of in-home care services for older adults, with more than 1,100 independently owned and operated franchises that provide nearly 90 million hours of care annually throughout the United States and 12 other countries. Local Home Instead offices employ nearly 100,000 CAREGivers℠ worldwide who provide relationship-based care services that enable older adults to live safely and comfortably in their own homes for as long as possible. Home Instead franchise owners partner with clients and their family members to help meet varied individual needs. Services span the care continuum – from providing personal care to specialized Alzheimer’s care and hospice support. Also available are family caregiver education and support resources. Visit HomeInstead.com. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter. Each Home Instead® franchise office is independently owned and operated. Home Instead, Inc. is a subsidiary of Honor Technology, Inc.

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Dan Wieberg
Home Instead Senior Care
+1 (402) 575-5970
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