What’s the best gift you could imagine for yourself as a Family Caregiver? Does something immediately come to mind? Would you love to have a subscription to your favorite magazine or a gift card to a favorite restaurant? How about a foot spa or one of those pads that gives you a chair massage? Even better, how about a gift certificate for a session with a massage therapist? Or better yet, a year’s membership to a local spa that will give you a massage every month? Maybe get a manicure while you’re there?
It’s easy for me to think of gifts you might like, but how could I possibly guess what your best present might be? And, actually, you might not be so quick to make suggestions, either. Most Family Caregivers are so attuned to the needs of others that they are slow to recognize their own needs. And usually, if they are brutally honest with themselves and others, most Family Caregivers would tell the gift-givers in their lives that they need help. But most of us won’t admit that until we reach a critical point of overload or burnout.
We’ve talked at length over the past few months about finding balance in the Family Caregiver’s world. Establishing balance will allow you to care for yourself while caring for others. It’s not an easy achievement, but it is so worthwhile if you can build it! Balance means different things to different people; it’s not a cookie-cutter concept. Here are some ideas for Family Caregiver gifts that might help you, or someone you love, achieve balance in caregiving:
- A gym or yoga membership, or a workout DVD.
- An attractive journal for tracking the caregiving journey.
- Vouchers or gift certificates for house-cleaning services.
- Gift certificates to a favorite coffee shop, restaurant, or spa.
- Vouchers for respite care to take a break and do something fun.
- A devotional book or magazine for caregivers.
- Info on a local Family Caregiver support group with a commitment to come and cover while the Family Caregiver attends the sessions.
- Hobby supplies, or a gift certificate to the local hobby store.
- Two tickets to a cultural event, with a promise to cover the loved one while they attend with a friend.
- A commitment to emotional support and time are the two best gifts any Family Caregiver could ever receive.
If the item is expensive, family members might go in together to purchase it. And remember, gifts don’t have to only happen at Christmas and birthdays! An unexpected gesture of support and appreciation is always appropriate and might be exactly what was needed to get through an unexpectedly challenging day.
The best gifts aren’t the ones that cost the most but are the ones that come from the heart. Join the conversation and share the best gifts from your heart.