In this season of giving, we want to shine a glowing light on those many caring people of all ages who are family caregivers to senior loved ones.
Often they don’t realize how special they are.
To be a family caregiver is to give of one’s time, talent and sometimes money to help make the life of a loved one happier, healthier and safer.
Because the needs of senior loved ones span the year, so too the contributions of family caregivers in helping to provide for those needs.
Millions Demonstrating They Care
The typical family caregiver is … well, there isn’t really a “typical’ as we see it. They may be found filling any of a virtually limitless range of roles for senior loved ones, roles as individual as the caregivers and the loved ones to whom they are providing care.
They may be…
- Helping with, or even doing, the cooking, cleaning and other housework for an aging parent or grandparent who just can’t do everything they did when younger.
- Stopping by when needed to do the yard work for grandma, who isn’t capable of filling in for her late spouse, or shoveling the snow for grandpa, who can’t handle that much physical work but might end up slipping on the ice going out for the mail or newspaper.
- Teaching senior loved ones how to make good use of that smartphone or tablet they just got and then providing “tech support” from time to time when a little help is needed.
- Checking the online bank and financial statements of aging parents from across the country to ensure no unusual, or even fraudulent, activity goes unnoticed.
- Taking a week of family vacation to help maintain the home of senior loved ones or even install grab bars, ramps and other modifications that are needed to adapt their home to changing needs and capabilities.
- Calling, emailing, Facebooking or stopping by to see aging loved ones from time to time just to chat, keep them company, and let them know that living independently doesn’t mean they are alone in the world.
We could go on and on, but you get the idea. Being a valued family caregiver doesn’t require being with senior loved ones all the time — or even being physically in the same location at all.
Giving a Gift to Family Caregivers
Yes, there are millions of family caregivers giving of themselves in so many ways that are important and deserving of gifts in return.
What sort of gifts? There are many ways to show them they are appreciated and important themselves.
- Tell them they do a great job and are important to the lives of their loved ones. Sometimes a few simple words, especially at the right time, can carry tremendous meaning.
- Ask if there is something you can do to help them, even if it’s to take one small task off their hands.
- Remind them to care for their own needs, which often go overlooked by family caregivers.
- Lend a caring ear to give them someone with whom they can unload the pressures of their day.
You probably have an idea of just the right gift you can give that family caregiver you know.
They are, after all, very special people!