November 21st, 2018 | BY: Allegra Chaney

Gifts for Caregivers of the Elderly

Dear Allegra,

My oldest friend is a caregiver for her 85-year-old mother. I see the physical and emotional toll caregiving is taking on her. As we head into the holiday season, I’m struggling to find a truly meaningful gift for her. I’d like to give her something really special.

Do you have any suggestions for gifts for caregivers? I just can’t seem to think of anything appropriate for her situation.

Kind regards,

Christina

6 Gift Ideas for Family Caregivers of the Elderly

Dear Christina,

You aren’t alone! This is a question we often receive during the holiday season. Watching a friend or family member struggle with the demanding role of caregiver isn’t easy.

I do have a few caregiver gift ideas for you to consider this holiday season:

  1. Gift of time: When you are a caregiver, there are never enough hours in the day. It’s one of the things that makes the role so challenging. You’ll hear me say this a lot: give the gift of time. It might be paying for respite care for your friend to give her a break for an afternoon. A creative way to give the gift of time is making a book with coupons your friend can trade in for your help with a variety of tasks. For example, create a coupon for grocery shopping or running errands. Having a coupon to trade in for specific tasks makes it easier to ask for assistance.
  2. Home-delivered meals: There are an ever-increasing number of companies that deliver meals right to your door. Whether it is a local company or a national service like Blue Apron or Hello Fresh, you can help your friend eat well on the go by gifting her a few home-delivered meals or meal kits.
  3. Housekeeping service: Finding time for everyday chores can be tough when you are a caregiver. If your friend doesn’t have the support of a housekeeping company, enlisting the services of one can make a great holiday gift. Depending on how much you want to spend, you could purchase one-time housecleaning help or a few hours every few months.
  4. Gifts that give back: Depending on what health issue your friend’s mother is battling, another option could be a gift that funds research. It might be a donation to the Alzheimer’s Association or the American Cancer Society. You could also donate to a charity of interest to your friend, such as an animal rescue group or an environmental organization.
  5. Day of pampering: Family caregivers often put the needs of everyone else first. A great holiday gift could be an afternoon or evening that is all about her. Think about how the two of you used to spend time together before your friend’s caregiving duties consumed so much of her time. Maybe it’s lunch at her favorite restaurant followed by pedicures at a local salon or happy hour followed by a trip to the local theatre to take in a new comedy or thriller. Do things your friend hasn’t been able to do in a while.

I hope these suggestions help you come up with an idea that your friend will enjoy!

Happy holidays!

Allegra