5 Ways to Thank the Caregivers in Your Life

Thanks to Create the Good for this great guest post!

Whether they are nurses, teachers, volunteers or family members, the caregivers in our lives are often unsung heroes,whose experience, dedication and skills get overlooked in our fast-paced world. This year, take an opportunity to say thank you with these five thoughtful and thankful ideas!

  1. The Gift of Time. One of the most appreciated gifts you can give the caregivers in your life is a little time off, especially for family members providing in-home care around the clock. Make a specific plan and get it on the calendar – most caregivers won’t pursue an “if you ever need some time off, call me” offer. Perhaps you can schedule a regular weekly time for your caregiver to run errands or go to the library. If you can’t commit to that, the offer of an occasional night off is still a major stress reliever. If you want to throw in some movie tickets, that’s a bonus!

  2. The Gift of Real Food. While treats are always appreciated, it’s hard to maintain energy and focus on high-sugar, high fat foods. Think about bringing a fruit and cheese tray to the nursing home, or something seasonal, like spiced nuts or savory muffins and soup. If your caregiver routinely volunteers on holidays, pack up the ingredients for a complete holiday dinner for him or her to take home and fix later. If none of this is practical, consider a gift certificate to an on-line grocer or grocery delivery service.

  3. The Gift of Recognition - Nominate Them! Enter your treasured caregiver in the "25 Days, 25 Ways to Care" contest and sweepstakes from Create the Good. Submit a 1-minute video that illustrates how your favorite caregiver is making a difference in the lives of others, whether they are caring for an elderly parent, volunteering to take care of animals, or demonstrating exceptional care in their role as a teacher or medical professional.  Your caregiver will be entered into a daily gift  card drawing and even have a chance to win the grand prize $2,500 for their favorite nonprofit. Learn more>

  4. The Gift of Money. This is a delicate subject, but studies have shown that family caregivers end up contributing nearly $300 per month on average toward the care of their patients, often skimping on their own food and self-care. Show your appreciation for their sacrifice by slipping some cash into an envelope – every little bit helps – or organizing other family members and taking up a collection. If your caregiver is a paid employee, give an annual bonus. (Just be sure that you aren’t running afoul of the rules if your caregiver works through an agency or organization.) Attach a note explaining that you’ve noticed their efforts and want them to know how much you appreciate them. If giving cash is absolutely taboo in your situation, make a contribution in the name of your caregiver to his or her favorite charitable cause. Bonus: Caregivers win daily prizes in the "25 Days, 25 Ways to Care" Contest from Create the Good - nominate a caregiver today!

  5. The Gift of Sincerity. If none of these ideas work for you due to your particular circumstances, nothing beats a sincere, heartfelt expression of thanks. Hand-write your caregiver a personalized letter, citing specific acts of kindness and generosity that you’ve observed, and expressing your gratitude for their presence in your family or community. The volunteer coordinator of your favorite non-profit, your child’s teacher or volunteer coach, your aging parent’s home healthy aid – all of these people who take care of others will appreciate your sentiments from the heart.

Don’t forget! Nominate someone you know who cares for others for a chance to win $2,500 for their favorite nonprofit, PLUS daily gift cards for themselves from Create the Good! Learn more >