Appreciating the caregiver in your life this Thanksgiving
Planes, trains and automobiles.
Family dynamics and strong personalities. An endless shopping list and hours and hours in the kitchen….
Does this sound like Thanksgiving with your family?
Now take a moment and imagine the holidays for the caregiver in your life, and how much they have on their plate, especially if they’re the ones hosting.
This Thanksgiving, we wanted to highlight how to support the caregiver in your life with thoughtful intention.
Read on to find out how to set the right mood and how to make their lives a little easier this holiday season.
Lighten the mood
Caregiving can be serious business. The wellbeing and health of a person rests in one person’s hands.
There’s the daily medications…
Frequent health check-ups…
And the general weight of responsibility.
If the timing and circumstances are right, Thanksgiving can be a time for caregivers to catch a break and relax a little, especially if they aren’t the one hosting.
If you know that politics is a triggering subject for you family, maybe it’s best to avoid any talk of the subject. We all know how emotionally-charged certain topics can be, and the tension they can cause between people.
Can you steer the conversation towards something more uplifting, or funny or interesting?
Yes, it’s good to talk across dividing lines. But sometimes it’s necessary to save these conversations for other occasions, especially if your family only sees each other once or twice a year.
A classic movie always does the trick with my family. Or you could try a board game or card game, and take the strain away from conversing.
Take some things off their plate
You can also appreciate the caregiver in your life by offering a helping hand.
Encourage the caregiver in your life to go for a walk, meet up with a friend or go into town while you take care of your loved one.
Can you help them with meal prep for your senior, or take over cooking a couple meals so they don’t have to?
Maybe the caregiver in your life is also a parent. Offering to watch or play with their children for a couple hours can give them some much-needed peace.
Even letting the caregiver know how much you appreciate them and the care they provide for the senior in your life can make a difference. You can share this blog with them for tips on how to get rest.
Make it meaningful
This might be the first holiday you’ve spent together as a family in quite a while. I know for my family that’s the case.
I think these past couple years have made people more appreciative of their family and the important people in their lives.
Maybe you’ve already been thinking about how grateful you are for your family, and ways to make the holidays a little more special. Or maybe you’ve decided the holidays are too overwhelming to spend with family, and you’d prefer to be with friends or solo.
Either way, what can you do to make Thanksgiving more meaningful?
It may sound cheesy, but a common tradition for people is to go around the table before the meal to say what you’re thankful for. If you’re spending Thanksgiving solo or with friends, can you send out a card to the caregiver in your life, thanking them for their compassion and commitment to your loved one?
Maybe you’re good at speaking, and want to toast the caregiver at the table. Or you found a lovely little passage in a book you're reading that speaks to the duty and joy of caregiving.
Whatever it is, share it!
Give the gift of time
Time is a limited resources, and once it’s gone we can’t get it back. (Don’t worry- I won’t make any time machine jokes.)
Caregiving can be one of the most demanding roles in life. Caregivers are often required to give up activities and parts of their lives that make them happy or keep them healthy. There’s only so much time in a day.
Wondering how to start helping? Brush up on all that caregiving entails and how caregivers can get a break with this past blog from SeaCare.
If you live anywhere close to the caregiver in your life, think about offering to handle caregiving duties for an afternoon, day, or even a week if you’re up to it. Make sure you’re up to the task before offering to help.
If you can afford the gift of respite care, it can be one of the most thoughtful and meaningful gifts to offer the caregiver in your life. And it can set a precedent for a caregiver to use these services again for their own benefit and peace of mind should they ever need professional care.
SeaCare offers respite care that’s personalized, professional and compassionate. You can hire a caregiver for as little as 4 hours at a time- the perfect amount of time for a caregiver to get out and away from the home.
Give us a call to find out more today.
Megan Marolf writes about senior topics and outdoor recreation from her home base in Seattle. You can read more about her here.
If you or a loved one you know are looking for additional support during this time and are interested in scheduling a free in-home assessment, please contact SeaCare In-Home Care Services today! A SeaCare family member is standing by. 425-559-4339.