Ways to Show Appreciation to Caregivers

Northwestern Medicine – November 2021

Author: NWM Staff

How to Say Thank You

There are more than 65 million unpaid caregivers in the United States. This startling statistic isn’t reserved for the sandwich generation, either. Roughly 10 million of them are millennials.

Whether it’s a friend or co-worker, chances are you know someone who is trying to juggle their personal responsibilities while taking care of a loved one. Here are ways to acknowledge that you care.

  • Offer a helping hand. An act of kindness can go a long way. Ask if you can pick up their children from school or walk their dog. Consider watching their children or providing rides to appointments to give them a well-deserved break.
  • Provide a homemade meal. Between juggling a full-time career and caregiving, it can be difficult to come home and cook a nutritious meal. Prepare some freezer-friendly dinners, or shop and package fresh ingredients in a box for fuss-free meals.
  • Encourage self-care. Providing care is physically and emotionally demanding. Encourage the caregiver in your life to take a break and address their own health needs, too. Pencil in a spa day together to help promote relaxation. You can even recreate the spa experience at home with store-bought facial masks and aromatherapy oils. These activities can relieve tension, which can reduce anxiety and lower blood pressure.
  • Be there to listen. Sometimes, the best thing you can do is be there to listen and support your friend. Take them out for coffee and ask how they are doing, which can help them sift through their feelings.
  • Write a note. A thoughtful handwritten note can have a big impact on the recipient. Share your gratitude with heartfelt words. 
  • Invite them to outings. Chances are, your friend has had to turn down social opportunities. Continue to include them and invite them to gatherings so they know you are thinking of them — even if they are unable to attend. 
  • Offer to help them with research. Local agencies or social services can offer valuable resources to guide future decision-making. You can also encourage your friend to join a caregiver support group.

From running an errand to making a meal, saying thank you can be simple. If nothing else, simply ask these valuable words: How can I help?

Caring for a caregiver is a noble act of compassion and acknowledgment.

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