Gifts for Caregivers

Posted by Becky, Volunteer Mentor @becsbuddy, Nov 19, 2019

I found this great list in Spry Living magazine which came in my newspaper. Some great suggestions!
1. Time Off. Give someone a day off or a weekend off.
2. Monetary Support: “ a friend gave us a monthly parking pass at the hospital. It made things so much easier”
3. Quality Time: Take a treat and just sit and visit
4. Meals: “when my daughter was struggling with cancer, her friends took turns bringing us prepared dishes, and it was a godsend.”
5. Child or pet care: Add your friend’s dog to your daily walk schedule! They are often forgotten
I recently read where one lady made a quilt from her friend’s daughter’s clothes. It made a great, warm, comfort quilt for her friend! Now, we can’t all make quilts, that’s for sure! What ideas do you have? Something you’ve done or has been done for you?

My husband was my caregiver for over a year while I went through cancer treatments and then, surgery. He wished that someone would ask him how he was doing. Gift = Be the person that caregiver can talk to. Another gift is to pay for someone to clean for two hours and maybe they just do bathrooms and floors or if you have time and ability…be the cleaner.

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@kjrita

My husband was my caregiver for over a year while I went through cancer treatments and then, surgery. He wished that someone would ask him how he was doing. Gift = Be the person that caregiver can talk to. Another gift is to pay for someone to clean for two hours and maybe they just do bathrooms and floors or if you have time and ability…be the cleaner.

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Such a fabulous gift idea, @kjrita. Be the person that cares and listens to the caregiver. So often they get neglected as all the attention is focused on the patient's needs. The question has to be delivered with intent that the perfunctory "how are you?"
What words work?

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Some examples my husband and I came up with: Are you doing okay? With emphasis on “you”. Is there anything you need? Do you want to talk? Do you want to go grab something to eat?

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@kjrita

Some examples my husband and I came up with: Are you doing okay? With emphasis on “you”. Is there anything you need? Do you want to talk? Do you want to go grab something to eat?

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So simply brilliant! Thanks, @kjrita.
Sometimes people just don't know what to say and simple phrases with the right intent and emphasis fail them.

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Interesting topic re caregivers who help their loved ones. I do agree. But I'm wondering how many families utilize the services of home health agencies like Visiting Angels, so that caregivers come into the home to do homemaking, personal care, and medication or insulin shots. It can be paid by Medicaid or private insurers or even Medicare. Or private pay. I am employed as a caregiver and we don't get paid much. And most families take us for granted in terms of all we do. It is emotionally exhausting, as well as physically and mentally. The only gift I value is the sincere appreciation of the family, and a client who really wants me there personally.

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@georgette12

Interesting topic re caregivers who help their loved ones. I do agree. But I'm wondering how many families utilize the services of home health agencies like Visiting Angels, so that caregivers come into the home to do homemaking, personal care, and medication or insulin shots. It can be paid by Medicaid or private insurers or even Medicare. Or private pay. I am employed as a caregiver and we don't get paid much. And most families take us for granted in terms of all we do. It is emotionally exhausting, as well as physically and mentally. The only gift I value is the sincere appreciation of the family, and a client who really wants me there personally.

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@georgette12 I would like to give you a big Thank You for all the work you do! As a nurse, I truly felt that nurses’ aides, just like you, had the most difficult job. You work as a caregiver in all sorts of situations; good and bad, difficult and easy. What helpful information can you pass along to other members of this group?

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I thoroughly agree with becs buddy a retired nurse and I know how hard a i d e s worked in the hospital and I know how hard caregivers work in private duty since I also was in private duty so thank you for all of your service you. It really means a lot not only to the patients but also to the nurses

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@georgette12
I’m sure it won’t come as any surprise but the most appreciated gift I received as a caregiver was food.
I assure you @georgette12 we never took Mary, my moms aid for granted. The first thing my mom told Mary when she came was “Sit down, you look tired.” We all sat around and talked and joked for an hour or so which was important and meant a lot to my mom.
Jake

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@jakedduck1

@georgette12
I’m sure it won’t come as any surprise but the most appreciated gift I received as a caregiver was food.
I assure you @georgette12 we never took Mary, my moms aid for granted. The first thing my mom told Mary when she came was “Sit down, you look tired.” We all sat around and talked and joked for an hour or so which was important and meant a lot to my mom.
Jake

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@jakedduck1 Leonard, caregivers become part of the family, don't they? That is good that Mary had such a nice reception there at your house! I am sure she was just as devastated as you last week.
Ginger

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@colleenyoung

So simply brilliant! Thanks, @kjrita.
Sometimes people just don't know what to say and simple phrases with the right intent and emphasis fail them.

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I agree. I think what I was trying to draw out is that when the loved one is the caregiver they can feel secluded and alone because they can not share some of their thoughts with the patient and they do not have a job to leave and go home from – they are home. I would guess in quite a few cases, the caregiver goes from their day job – fill in the blank – to their night job – caregiving. They do not feel comfortable sharing with colleagues at work, they are not as likely to share their thoughts with a caregiver support group and feel more comfortable with a friend or family member. Sometimes, they do not know how to ask for help and it assists them if you draw that request out by asking these types of questions.

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@gingerw

@jakedduck1 Leonard, caregivers become part of the family, don't they? That is good that Mary had such a nice reception there at your house! I am sure she was just as devastated as you last week.
Ginger

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@ginger
Yes she was. Mary is the sister I never had. There is something special about her. We will remain good friends.
Because of the unpredictability of seizures and being alone, I’m not going to use the stove or oven unless someone is here and to be perfectly honest, probably not even then. Not that I ever used it much.
Jake

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@jakedduck1

@ginger
Yes she was. Mary is the sister I never had. There is something special about her. We will remain good friends.
Because of the unpredictability of seizures and being alone, I’m not going to use the stove or oven unless someone is here and to be perfectly honest, probably not even then. Not that I ever used it much.
Jake

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@jakedduck1 You have been through so much this past week, but we’re all thinking about you and wishing you the best.

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Thank you for the kind words for caregivers. My husband is disabled and can't work but he doesn't need my physical support, although he needs heaps of emotional support. My problem is that as a caregiver, my clients usually have mental issues along with physical. So when I come home I have very little left to provide emotional support at the end of the day. I just told my husband the truth, what I just said. He now sees a counselor to help him help himself emotionally. Sigh…

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@georgette12

Thank you for the kind words for caregivers. My husband is disabled and can't work but he doesn't need my physical support, although he needs heaps of emotional support. My problem is that as a caregiver, my clients usually have mental issues along with physical. So when I come home I have very little left to provide emotional support at the end of the day. I just told my husband the truth, what I just said. He now sees a counselor to help him help himself emotionally. Sigh…

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@georgette12 you must be mentally and emotionally exhausted by the end of your day. I’m sure it is difficult for you to not be able to provide the emotional support your husband needs. That’s great that he is seeing a counselor, I hope that will give him the help he needs. It sounds as if he understands your position, and I suspect that on weekends you are able to support him more than you can during your work week. You can only do so much, and you have to take care of yourself too. If you don’t you can’t help anyone.
JK

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@georgette12

Thank you for the kind words for caregivers. My husband is disabled and can't work but he doesn't need my physical support, although he needs heaps of emotional support. My problem is that as a caregiver, my clients usually have mental issues along with physical. So when I come home I have very little left to provide emotional support at the end of the day. I just told my husband the truth, what I just said. He now sees a counselor to help him help himself emotionally. Sigh…

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I’m glad you told your husband the truth @georgette12 . He may have known, deep down, that he was adding to your burden. Have you thought about going to the counselor together? Just sometimes. When I first got sick, my husband would occasionally go with me, partly to support me and to reinforce what the counselor said, but also to learn what he could do to help. Does this sound like something you might do?

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