How Will You Show Your Appreciation?

A box of decadent chocolates. A cuddly stuffed teddy bear. A mouthwatering home-cooked meal (with your offer to do the dishes afterwards!). There are many meaningful ways to share your love with a special someone on Valentine’s Day. Considering both this holiday and National Caregivers Day (Friday, February 19th, 2021), now is an excellent time to graciously acknowledge a partner or spouse, as well as professional in-home caregivers and the frontline healthcare workers of COVID-19.

Perhaps now more than ever, professional caregivers deserve our love and appreciation. These dedicated and devoted individuals have been working tirelessly to support both you and your loved one and are facing great stress and risks daily due to COVID-19. Giving thanks may seem like a small thing to do, but it can mean the world to someone to hear.

National Caregivers Day: Third Friday in February

Providers Association for Home Health & Hospice Agencies (PAHHHA) founded National Caregivers Day in 2015 to recognize the, “dedicated healthcare professionals [who] serve those who require short and long-term care at home or in a facility.” The day was first observed in 2016, and the National Day Calendar added it to their list that same year.

Suggestions For Caregiver Appreciation "The CareYaya Way"!

Consider these suggestions for giving thanks to the professional caregivers in your life on National Caregivers Day:

Give a card of thanks.

Browse your local card shop, Hallmark or Papyrus for a “thank you” card or a blank card that you can personalize with your own message. If you're tech-savvy, try American Greetings e-Cards or Blue Mountain. As a sign of the times (and our country’s aging population), we’ve been pleased to see that some card shops are now carrying “caregiver-specific” cards as well!

Offer words of encouragement.

“You’re doing a great job with Mom.” “I admire you for the work that you are doing.” “Keep up the great work.” However you say it to a professional caregiver, a compliment will go a long way.

Tell their supervisor how much you appreciate them.

Consider passing your comments about a professional caregiver’s work and services along to his/her supervisor. They may receive a pay bonus or be recognized as an “employee of the month.” Why not urge the employer to give the professional caregiver a paid day off?

Deliver flowers.

A fresh bouquet of flowers can also be a wonderful way to say “thank you.” As a bonus, many florists offer delivery service meaning you’ll be saved a trip. If possible allergic reactions to flowers may be a problem, gift another type of bouquet – fresh fruit, cookies, and balloons are great alternatives.

Give a gift card.

Gift cards often don’t have an expiry date which makes them a useful option for the busy caregiver. Alternatively, a gift card could be used for an online purchase or toward a bill for a service. Many options for business-specific gift cards are available. A Visa or MasterCard gift card can be used broadly.

Make a gift bag.

Gift cards make for excellent additions to gift bags, but there are many other surprises that can delight a professional caregiver. Home baked cookies, bagged candy, a pocket-sized calendar or appointment book, refrigerator magnets, a coffee mug, walking/running earbuds, books, candles...anything small that reminds you of them can be slipped into a gift bag. Gathering items for your gift bag can take some time to do, but your efforts will be appreciated.

Think outside the box.

Get creative and dream up other ways to say “thank you” to a professional caregiver or frontline healthcare worker. Buy a coffee card and write, “Thanks a ‘latte’ for everything you do!” on the envelope. Box up some donuts and write, “’Donut’ know what we’d do without you!” on the tag. Offer a small tub of ice cream with a label reading, “Here’s the ‘scoop’ – we appreciate you!” They will no doubt appreciate the humor your thoughtful gesture brings.

We all value recognition for a job well-done. Praise makes us feel better about what we have accomplished, inspires us to continue, and can renew our sense of purpose. And there’s no easier way to share appreciation than by saying “thank you.” Please take a moment to recognize, appreciate, and give credit where credit is due – to those who work so hard for both you and your loved one. And remember that a heartfelt “thank you” certainly doesn’t have to be reserved for only Valentine’s Day and National Caregivers Day. It will be greatly welcomed year-round!