how to show a caregiver love on valentines dayWho will be your Valentine this year? The truth is, Valentine’s Day is more than just about buying candy. It’s a special time that reminds us to let the ones closest to us know that we love them. Family caregivers are the most hardworking people in our families and there are a lot of them out there that don’t get the recognition they deserve. 

Do you have a loved one who cares for an aging relative or maybe a friend who frequently helps out a nearby neighbor? The truth is caregivers are all around us. They may not see themselves as caregivers or receive a check they’re done for the day, but they’re out there. Caregivers come in all ages and walks of life, male and female. Some are paid, but most are not. 

If you have a family member or friend that is a caregiver then you know that they are busy 24/7. Between purchasing medical supplies, going grocery shopping or running errands for their carees, they have their hands tied... literally. NorthShore care experts speak with caregivers on a daily basis when they call in to order incontinence supplies, and they hear the stories of these caregivers. We came up with a list of ideas that we think all caregivers will appreciate this Valentine’s Day. If you’re looking for a last minute gift, then here are some ideas to pick from.

Free Ways to Let Caregivers Know You Care

  1. Talk to them- Caregivers are like us, they have hobbies and sometimes just need a listener on those rough days. Ask them how they are doing and what’s new in their life. Talk about things that can help alleviate the stress that they hold on a daily basis.
  2. Gift a leftover meal- Nothing says you care more than a delicious meal you’ve prepared yourself. If you live close to your valentine and you enjoy cooking or baking, then drop your tasty treats, they will appreciate it.
  3. Send a warm greeting- Most electronic greeting cards are free, take 2 minutes to write something special to your valentine. Heartfelt messages are the most meaningful and will let your friend or family member know someone is thinking of them.
  4. Offer to help with errands or housework- Take some of your free time and help your valentine. It may not seem exciting to you, but having an extra help with laundry, groceries or even cleaning can go a long way for a busy caregiver!

Other Ways to Let a Caregiver Know You Care

  1. Take them somewhere special- The strenuous day to day routine a caregiver goes through can cause burnout. Take them to a place where they can fully enjoy themselves. Some ideas include: go to the movie theater, for the male caregiver, a golf outing, a weekend getaway, or even relaxing at a local coffee shop.
  2. Give them a "wellness check"- Caregivers can only give good care when they too are in good shape. Offer to purchase them a yoga class or a therapeutic massage. When caregivers are in optimal health they are more likely to give their carees better care.
  3. Send them healthy meals they can enjoy- There are healthy food services such as Freshly that deliver delicious and healthy meals right to your recipient’s door. Cooking a meal takes up time and energy that caregivers might not have after a long day. A quick, delicious dinner that awaits is sure to please! No cooking required!
  4. Send a customized care package- Care packages aren’t just for college students anymore. Send a package included with some of their favorite things. Gifts like these are fun to receive and even more fun to open. You can fill the package with their favorite snacks, a good book, gift cards or even aromatherapy for the caregiver that enjoy essential oils. Customize the box to your caregiver friend or family member.

Who will be your Valentine this year? What will you do for them? If you have a relative or friend that is a caregiver let them know that you’re thinking about them. A trip to the movie theater, a fresh meal delivered to their home or even a care package are all great ideas to show your valentine you care about them not just on Valentine’s Day, but every day.