My co-worker, Marcia, is retiring at the end of December to care for her elderly mother. To celebrate her retirement another co-worker, Linda, gave her a small decorated living Christmas tree.
The past year has been filled with doctor appointments and hospital stays for Marcia’s mother. It left very little time or energy to decorate for the holidays.
Linda’s thoughtful gift brought surprise, joy and the Christmas spirit to both Marcia and her mother for Christmas.
They also loved the idea of planting the tree in their garden when spring arrives.
A living gift to bring cheer all year long!
With our parents aging and life expectancy lengthening, a growing number of Baby Boomers are having to care for and support their parents. It’s the new normal for many.
5 things you can do to bring a smile to the face of a caregiver:
- Winter time is perfect for sharing comfort food. A crock pot of hearty soup or a steaming hot casserole make for a wonderful dinner and most likely provide enough for a few lunches too.
- Purchase a gift certificate for a massage and present it along with a “coupon” offering to provide respite care while she enjoys an hour or so of relaxation.
- Is your caregiver friend a member of the sandwich generation? If so, pick up her kids from school for a snack or dinner. Friday or Saturday nights are perfect for a slumber party with pizza, popcorn, board games and movies.
- Most caregivers could use a little help around the house. Some ideas include shoveling snow, raking leaves, trimming, or mowing the lawn. If there are household “fix it” jobs, hire a handyman service. A housecleaning service is another helpful idea.
- Send a heartfelt greeting card with a personal note inside. Knowing that someone is thinking about you during a difficult time can make all the difference in the world.
Caregivers usually do not want to impose on others for help because everyone is busy with their own lives. I felt the same way.
Thank goodness my friends made a difference and never took “No” for an answer when I was care giving for my mother.
If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito. – Dalai Lama