Family caregivers play an essential role in the life of an aging loved one. We see it everyday, as dedicated family and friends come threw our doors to visit a resident. They are caring, compassionate, patient, giving and kind and yet their role can be exhausting, overwhelming and at times thankless. Often the job of caring for another person is one of the hardest a person will experience in a lifetime. That is why it is so important to take the time to not only thank a caregiver for all that they do for your loved one. Even the simplest acts of kindness will go a long way in showing your appreciation.
- With Words – This may sound simplistic, but too many people forget how much words of appreciation matter. Remind them how much their care is appreciated.
- With Cards and Flowers– If you don’t get to express in words your appreciation, send a card or flowers to expresses your gratitude.
- With a Give a Day Off – Often times family caregiver don’t ask for help from other family members. Don’t make them ask! Help relieve them of their duties for at least a day, if not longer. By taking a break they will feel re-energized.
- With a Crisis: During times of crisis, what a caregiver often needs is presence — the presence of a family member or a close friend — not pity, not small talk, just your presence.
- With Acknowledgement: Caregiving can be lonely at times. Some people who feel uncomfortable stay away, and caregivers have little time to go out. Reminding a caregiver that you are still a friend and allowing the caregiver to arrange to meet when and where it’s convenient is respectful and compassionate.
- With a smile: Sometimes a simple smile is all you need to say “thanks.”
- With your help: Does your family caregiver help running errands? Could they use a few home-cooked meals? Offering to help someone who’s stressed is a wonderful way to express your gratitude.