Caregivers don’t get to go holiday parties or even celebrate with family and friends, but that’s not because they don’t want to. They can, however, be part of the giving holiday spirit and we want to give you an idea of some gifts that would be appropriate for the caregiver in your family.
This isn’t about the care receiver——they’re rarely forgotten at the holidays. This is about what a caregiver, on duty almost 24/7, unable to leave the house. Instead of taking the easy way out and gifting a gift card, spend time to think of a something personal; something that shows you appreciate them.
I liked receiving little gifts I could use to pamper myself at home; ones that didn’t require leaving the house to enjoy. A day at a spa that I couldn’t take the time to enjoy wouldn’t be a very good gift. That doesn’t mean I couldn’t be pampered.
- Buy a massage from a service that will make house calls. The caregiver on your list can make plans when they can to use the certificate.
- There are a lot of beauty masks and self-care products on the market available at Sephora and other stores. There are hair masks and facial masks.
- Taking time out for a relaxing bath can be very special and scented bath oils that soothe the nerves are a great gift. Add to that the flameless, battery operated candles that look like the real thing and the experience will be complete. It wouldn’t hurt if you also volunteered to sit with the care receiver while the caregiver took time for her or himself.
- Caregivers are constantly washing their hands which tend to make them dry and raw. There are wonderful hand treatment kits with creams and silicone gloves that provide several sessions of restorative skin care. There are also lots of delicious smelling hand creams on the market.
- In the same vein (but more expensive), are electronic paraffin baths that take paraffin blocks or chips and melt them. Then you submerge your hands (or feet) in the melted solution and take them out with the paraffin on them. Let the paraffin sit and dry and then peel it off and put the wax back in the unit to be melted again and reused. It’s fabulous.
- You can always buy gift cards for online movies or give a year’s subscription to a premium cable service.
- If you want to buy a book for a caregiver, don’t buy one on caregiving. This is all about paying attention to the carer and not the caree. If you know their favorite author, that’s always great. If not, try a best seller or something light.
- Magazine subscriptions also make great gifts. If you’re a subscriber, you will often get a 2 for 1 offer at the holidays. If you renew, you can get a free subscription for a friend. Otherwise, I recommend going to www.abegreenberg.com for the most reasonable rates on tons of magazines.
- Have a catered holiday meal sent in—you might be across the country, but you’ll be sharing Christmas dinner with family and friends long distance
- There’s always perfume, body cream, powder — more items for pampering.
- Hi-tech devices are great too. Tablets, earphones, iPods—they’re all things that can be enjoyed while caregiving.
- Lastly, just offering to provide some respite time on a regular basis is a wonderful gesture.
It’s not hard to come up with something to give the caregiver in your family or circle of friends. Just give it a little thought and something will come to you. It will be much appreciated.
Adrienne Gruberg is a former family caregiver and founder of The Caregiver Space. After six years of caring for her late husband and mother-in-law she conceived of an online support space all caregivers could come to. Adrienne holds a BFA from Boston University. She founded AYA Creative in 1982, an award winning graphic design, marketing and advertising company. Her design training has helped shape the website and her personal and professional experience continues to inform and influence the caregiver centric support experience she has created at The Caregiver Space.