From OHC

December 7, 2022

Last month, one of our blogs highlighted the touching caregiver-patient relationship between a daughter and her mother while providing recommendations to caregivers about addressing their own physical and psychological needs (https://ohcare.com/care-for-cancer-caregiver/). During the holiday season, you might be wondering if there is something you can give to a caregiver to pamper them, alleviate their stress, or simply make them smile. OHC’s team has a few suggestions that are good to keep handy all year when you want to show a caregiver that you are thinking about them.

The Gift of Time

One of the grandest gestures you can make for a caregiver is to give them some time off. Offer to stay with their loved one for a while so that they can have some moments to themselves. Whether they want to shop, get a massage, visit with friends, or simply stay at home for a long bath and an hour to read, let them know you will be there to care for the patient. If you’re aware of the caregiver’s favorite restaurant, café, or salon, purchase a gift card so that they can make a reservation while you handle the caregiving for a bit.

You can also offer your time to run errands or handle household chores for the caregiver. Consider picking up their groceries, cutting their lawn, or shoveling their driveway. If there are children or pets in the home, offer to watch them. Or, pay for a handyman to make home repairs or a respite care service to offer some short-term relief.

Remember, simply offering to “be” there with them to listen to their concerns is another tremendous gift. They might need a shoulder to lean on, a confidant, someone to shed a tear with, or a chance to share a good laugh.

Consider committing to something regular like checking in every week with a phone call or stopping by to be with the patient for a couple of hours a week. Many times, caregivers find themselves surrounded by support following the patient’s initial diagnosis and then the support dwindles as time moves on.

Monthly Subscription Boxes

You have probably heard of book of the month or wine of the month delivery programs that deliver a surprise item to your door every month. Set up a subscription for the caregiver. Consider something they wouldn’t buy for themselves like beauty products, coffees from around the world, unique socks, candles, or flowers.

Meals

Caregivers spend their days driving to medical appointments, cleaning the home, offering companionship, tracking finances, and staying on top of the patient’s medication schedule. Making a tasty healthy meal is another time-consuming task that often becomes overwhelming. Bring a meal or homemade goodies to a caregiver or give them gift cards to some of their favorite restaurants. There are several home meal delivery subscription services, or you could set up a meal train with a group of your friends and neighbors using mealtrain.com.

Pamper Them With a Gift Basket

Put together a themed gift basket with self-care items like comfy clothes and slippers, lotions, soaps, and bath bombs. Caregivers spend a lot of time in doctors office waiting rooms. Gather activity books, magazines, a journal, and snacks to package together. To ease the financial burden of a cancer diagnosis on a family, put together a basket of gift cards for the grocery store, Amazon, gas stations, and restaurants.

Smartwatch

If you are putting together a caregiver gift from a group, a smartwatch is something to consider. Smartwatches offer several benefits to both the caregiver and the patient. Using a smartwatch, a caregiver can view their daily calendar, set reminders for upcoming appointments or a medication schedule, track fitness, and send and receive text messages. Some of these wearable devices enable caregivers to monitor a loved one through GPS technology and can detect when patients fall. Distress buttons are available to notify emergency responders. Many devices have a built-in heart rate monitor and can track blood pressure, stress levels, and blood sugar levels.

Pre-Paid Class

Have you ever heard your caregiving friend mention an interest in a yoga class or a technology class at an adult education center? Prepay for a class or a session and then offer to stay with the patient during class times.

Naturally, we want the caregivers in our lives to feel appreciated and comforted, especially during the holidays. Gifts that offer relaxation and entertainment are well-received, but remember that the best gift will most likely be the gift of time. OHC connects cancer patients, their caregivers, and their loved ones with several cancer-focused resource organizations to offer additional support. Caregivers can visit ohcare.com for a list of helpful organizations.

For more information on cancer caregiver resources or to request a second opinion with an OHC cancer expert, call 1-888-649-4800 or visit ohcare.com.

Comments (2)

2 responses to “Gifts for the Caregiver—For the Holidays or Any Season”

  1. Sandy Barrett says:

    When I was the caregiver for my husband when he was being treated for Stage 4 Lymphoma a friend would take me out for an hour or so. It was very helpful to relax while she drove and have someone to talk to. My friend would tell me she was proud of me for taking good care of my husband.

    • OHC says:

      Sandy, thank you for sharing your personal caregiver experience which reinforces the message of our blog. Just hearing your friend tell you that she was proud of you made a difference. We hope this article highlights the importance of the gift of time and in turn alleviates some of the burden for caregivers.

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