It’s the perfect time to recognize the family and friends in your life who are caregivers, with a thoughtful gift that really shows how much you appreciate what they do!

Here’s my (ever-growing!) list of favorite ideas, that would have meant the most to receive as a caregiver, or what I would send to my friends/family who are in the “trenches” of caregiving:

  • Get Fit | Sign your caregiver up for a personal training package at a nearby gym!  Schedule the sessions for her and take over caregiving duties while she fits in some physical activity.  Working out can be a great release, does wonders for self-esteem, and working one-on-one with a trainer gives her accountability, plus someone to vent to!
  • Spa Time | After doing hands-on care at my Nanny’s bedside, I could think of nothing better than a massage!  But finding the time away for something so self-indulgent wasn’t on my to-do list!  My best suggestion is to book the caregiver in your life a spa appointment and fill in on caregiving duties while she takes time to relax!  Gift certificates are great, but it’s even better if you’ve already done the scheduling — take the initiative and make her take time out for herself.  Better yet, book a recurring appointment once a month for the next three months!
  • Starter Subscription to Caregiving Management Tool | While caring for my grandmothers a few years ago, we tracked everything by hand.  Nowadays, there are several of emerging technologies, platforms, and tools that help caregivers coordinate care!  So what better gift is there for a caregiver, than a starter subscription to help make their day-to-day lives easier?  Check out the following companies:

eCaring eCaring offers a unique icon-based software system that lets caregivers easily track the daily tasks of in-home care, from medication management to personal care to meal preparation.  I so wish we’d had eCaring when I was a caregiver and charting everything by hand!

UnfrazzleUnfrazzle is a comprehensive and easy-to-use app available on iPhone or Android that lets caregivers track daily tasks and coordinate care with family members.

making care easierMaking Care Easier is an online communication portal to keep family members “in the loop” about care updates and to share caregiving tasks.

  • Ready-made meals | When my mom was recovering from pneumonia, and my dad & siblings were doing hands-on care, I was in Grenada and couldn’t be there in person to do the cooking.  So I sent shipments of mouth-watering meals that were easy to prepare and comforting.  My go-to orders are placed with:  Omaha Steaks, Zingerman‘s, Boudin Bakery, and Home Bistro.  My Nanny always said that “Food is love and love is food”–and this is especially true during challenging times!  Remember individuals who are ill might have diet restrictions, or lower tolerance for rich foods; but caregivers should dig right in!
  • More ideas to come!