According to a 2015 report, there are 43.5 million caregivers in the United States today — roughly six million more people than the population of California. And according to a recent column by Ed Tobias, caregiving can be a hard and thankless task.
Let’s change that!
November was National Caregivers Month and of course, there will be lots of gift-giving opportunities as the year comes to a close. But getting out, especially in the holiday traffic, can be tough, especially if you have mobility issues. That’s where online shopping comes in.
Here are some ideas — most available at the click of a mouse — for showing your gratitude to those who do so much for you:
Sometimes, it’s the little things
Here are some “self-care” items from this year’s New York Times holiday gift guide that your caregiver might appreciate and that ought to fit within most budgets.
Sockwell Elevation Firm Socks, $25. Comfortable, stylish and available for both men and women, these socks are made for people who do a lot of standing, walking and running around, making them perfect for your favorite caregiver.
Urpower 300ml Aroma Essential Oil Diffuser, $20. Featuring a nice clean design, this diffuser provides mist for up to seven hours while performing roughly the same as models four or five times its price, making it a nice gift for just about anyone (especially with winter’s dry weather coming).
Green Tea Water Bomb Mask, $7. Pre-loaded with a “hydrogel”, this sheet mask helps refresh the user’s face, leaving it all tingly and glowing. That’s a lot of value for $7, plus it’s cool looking, too!
The write stuff
According to dailycaring.com, “Writing in a journal is a surprisingly effective way to reduce caregiver stress. Gifting them [caregivers] a beautiful or inspiring journal is a great way to encourage this therapeutic activity.” The site recommends the Instant Happy Journal as well as other journals found here.
Kick back and say spa!
A spa, says Trip Savvy, is “a place to receive massages, facials, body scrubs and other services in either a day spa or overnight setting.” In other words, it’s basically time devoted specifically to being cared for and pampered, making it an ideal gift for your caregiver.
Many nicer hotels offer on-site spas and if your budget allows, consider the gift of a weekend getaway with a spa for your caregiver. If you’re in need of care while he or she is away, consider professional in-home care while they are gone. And if your budget doesn’t quite allow, check your frequent flyer points, hotel rewards and this list of great, affordable weekend getaways.
New to booking spa days or massages, or want to increase the chances of your caregiver having a great spa experience? Read this and this. And if you’re looking for a spa, try Spafinder. Just type in your ZIP code and the site will find spas (along with their ratings) near you. Buy your caregiver a gift card online, have it sent to their door and off they go!
Maid to order
Though these services may not be available everywhere, many house cleaning companies — especially the big, nationwide ones — offer gift certificates and gift cards. Much like a spa day, who wouldn’t like someone else to come over and clean their house from top to bottom? No one, that’s who. No. One.
It may not be easy, but be sure to express your gratitude directly with a thoughtful note and/or a hug. I come from a non-huggy family, but have learned how good a hug from someone who cares can make me feel. According to the Good Men Project, here’s how to hug like you mean it, and here’s what you’ll both get when you do: “A hug is this fascinating human gesture that has us press another person’s body into our own as a way of saying, ‘I so deeply value your presence that I’m taking this exact moment to feel you, smell you, breathe with you – essentially stamp your being into my cellular memory so that even though we may be soon apart, you will in fact always be with me in the living fabric of my existence.’”
Now get out there and show how grateful you are.
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