After meeting, interviewing, and working with dozens of caregivers, I can tell you one thing they have in common: a heart of service. Those who enjoy giving and caring for others also need care and appreciation. A sincere thank you or great work often goes a lot further than material gifts.
During this time, caregivers are essential workers, leaving the safety of their own homes to provide home care for others. Do you know what? I haven’t had a single complaint. Not one request to stay home and stop working. Every single team member understands the impact of their work and has continued with business as usual.
We’ve found that appreciation goes a long way to help retain caregivers on staff. Today I’m asking for your help to reach out to your caregiver and to give them a little feedback about their senior care service.
At Assisting Hands Home Care, we have a no gift policy. So, how can you show your appreciation for your caregiver? Sometimes it’s our biggest limitation that helps us to be creative with our appreciation and find the most heartfelt gifts.
Here are some creative ways you can say THANK YOU.
1. A Card or a Reference Letter
We’ve seen many caregivers come for interviews with reference letters from the last several decades. They are SO proud to share the kind words a family wrote about their service. A reference letter given directly to the caregiver will make her feel proud of her work and is a great way for her to remember the time she spent with your family. The fact that you took the time to write the letter will be very meaningful.
A simple handwritten (or handmade) card can go a long way!
2. A Call to the Office
Why not call/email/text the office letting us know how your caregiver is doing! Hearing this messaging passed through their supervisor helps caregivers feel acknowledged in a field where they are often on their own with the client! We all want to be seen, heard, and understood
3. A Specific Message
Some words that are meaningful to caregivers are:
- The work you do has made a huge impact on our family.
- You being there with my mom really gives us peace of mind.
- Wow, my mom doesn’t normally like to exercise. You’ve done a great job keeping her active and I can see she’s getting stronger.
The more specific the message, the more heartfelt it will feel
4. A Handmade Gift or a Plant
On Valentine’s Day (shortly before quarantine) we delivered a single rose to each caregiver. Caregivers really are people with BIG HEARTS. I promise that the thoughtful, handmade gifts are significant for them. Imagine your life as a career caregiver; Wouldn’t it be special, as the years go on, to have a collection of cards or small handmade gestures from the families whom you served? Get creative! If you’re unsure about what is considered a gift, just call the office and we can approve the gift so there is no confusion. The idea is that the gift should not be of monetary value or given by a party who suffers from a memory related disorder.
5. A Special Meal
How about ordering something special from the grocery store that the caregiver can share with her client? Or, if family is far away, why not order from GrubHub or Door Dash. I imagine it would be fun for both caregiver and client to have this special meal. While we do have a no gift policy, if this is something you’d like to do, please call the office for us to notate the gesture in the caregiver’s file.
A meal like this will give both the caregiver and client something to look forward to and brighten their day from the everyday routine!
6. An Activity for the Caregiver and Client to Enjoy Together
This could be an activity the caregiver can do during her shift with your family. Some ideas are a new puzzle, game, small gardening endeavor, brownie mix, or other project both would enjoy!
7. A Special Treat
Did you caregiver reveal something he or she enjoys, like coffee, chocolate, or possibly a favorite animal? You can drop off a few Hershey kisses, a cup of delicious coffee, or a card with that cute animal on front.
8. Say, “Thank you”
It’s all in how you say it. Make eye contact, make it sincere, and that’s all you really need.
The most important message is one that appeals to the caregiver’s heart of service. Thank you for your help in reinforcing the IMPACT the service has on your loved one, and your family.
Do you have any other ideas? Please share those with us and we will update the post for others!