Welcome to February, the Month of Love & Caregiver Appreciation
By CarePatrol of Charlotte
National Caregivers Day falls on February 21, 2020, for the new year, 1-week after Valentine’s Day, the day of romance. This means that for two straight Fridays in February, we will have a wonderful opportunity to celebrate heartfelt days of appreciation, admiration, and of course, love, sweet love.
The question is, what will we do to show our gratitude and appreciation to those who are caregivers in our lives? The ideas are endless for expressing appreciation on this special day, set aside for caregivers, as well as ongoing and the team members with CarePatrol of Charlotte wish to share a few of their favorite suggestions.
First off, who is a caregiver?
A caregiver can be any of the senior living professionals who work in an assisted living community, memory care home, skilled nursing, and a rehab center, as well as in the field of palliative care and with hospice. It’s such a general title, “caregiver”, yet it includes a broad spectrum of many levels of healthcare professionals, especially those dear souls who work with seniors every day.
Suggestions for caregivers in the healthcare industry:
- Books – Those that feed and nourish the soul. With that said, our definite go-to would be the collection of Chicken Soup for The Soul books, covering all sorts of caregiving related topics. These books include short stories that are easy to read, not time-consuming in length, that truly help to energize the human spirit and its inner light.
- Flowers – Along with a handwritten card, expressing your heartfelt thoughts of appreciation.
- Gift Cards – Who doesn’t love a great morning cup of coffee from Starbucks, or lunch from Subway, or a gas card? The choices for gift cards are many, range in amounts available and are very much affordable.
- Lunch – Host an appreciation luncheon for the caregivers on your team, including a sentimental and meaningful, yet informal Blessing of the Hands, along with a hand-wrapping benediction. A suggested blessing for such an informal gathering is as follows: "May the Creator who formed these hands bless their work to bring healing to all the people you care for. Receive the knowledge that you are His hands, bringing His healing. His gentleness, His compassion, and His love as you go from patient to patient today, and always. Receive this Blessing of Hands as His thanks to you for your faithful service and go in peace to love and serve others." [Google "Blessing of the Hands" and several creative and meaningful ideas will pop up.]
A caregiver also includes family members, those who are the everyday heroes that care for an elderly loved one, family with special needs or family struggling with mental illness. It can be trying and quite taxing to these caregivers, those who are many times going it alone and have limited resources available to them for emotional and moral support.
Suggestions for family member caregivers, a more personal level of appreciation can be given, such as:
- Child Care/Dog Watching – Babysitting, rather it be for a dear child or a much-loved pet is something that can be a huge help to a caregiver.
- Errands – Offer a day of errand running, to be their personal concierge and in the future, to do so for at least once a week.
- Hugs – Sometimes, they too just simply need the human touch of a comforting, encouraging and loving hug.
- Meals – If time cannot be given to take them out for lunch or dinner, instead, make them a delicious, homemade meal. If you don’t cook, there’s always the option of pick up or food delivery and of course, the choices of restaurants are endless.
- Show Up – Be a good friend, a good human and be there for them. Be an attentive listener and find out about their needs, offering them an opportunity to be heard and to vent, if needed.
- Support Resources – Research in the local area for opportunities that will provide added support for the caregiver, by contacting a neighborhood senior center, the Council on Aging office, the VA Office (for Vets) and even your local CarePatrol office, as we typically have an array of valuable resources available, that will allow our teams to put you in direct contact with programs for much needed senior care support and important caregiver needs.
- Time Off – Allow them the opportunity of taking time for themselves. Band together with other family members, close friends, etc. to create a support system that allows the family caregiver to take time to rejuvenate themselves, recharging their energy and self.
With today being the 1st day of February, there are two weeks left on the calendar to focus attention on thoughtful ‘acts of kindness’ for those who unselfishly do so much. This is more than enough time to prepare for expressing our sincere gratitude and appreciation to those who are caregivers, in our personal and professional lives alike.
We at CarePatrol encourage you and your team to join us in putting forth a concerted effort in making this year’s National Caregivers Day the best to date, as we would be lost without our much-loved caregivers in the profession of senior living.
And if you’re a caregiver, thank you, thank you so very much for all that you do.
• • • • •
“There are only four kinds of people in the world. Those who have been caregivers. Those who are currently caregivers. Those who will be caregivers, and those who will need a caregiver.” – Rosalyn Carter
#NationalCaregiversDay #February21st2020 #CarePatrol