In the holiday gift buying frenzy, you may have forgotten your aging parent's caregiver. Though you missed the deadline, you can still remember that special person, without breaking your piggy bank.
The following gifts cost absolutely nothing, except a bit of your time and attention. I've seen caregivers, wait staff and housekeepers beam when they receive these.
1. Give sincere compliments. Does your parent's special person shine when singled out for public recognition? Or do they prefer a quiet whisper? Whatever their style, they'll appreciate your attention.
2. Write them a thank-you note. I have a folder stuffed with notes from adult children and their parents with whom I've worked over the years. Just thinking about those kind words makes me smile. When you write, be as specific as possible, such as, "I so appreciate the backrubs you give my mom. It makes her feel so special."
3. Write a thank-you note to the special person's supervisor. Fill it with glowing compliments about the caregiver's compassion, creativity, dedication, etc. Use examples. Close by asking the supervisor to consider including this letter in the caregiver's personnel file. Mail or hand-carry a copy to your caregiver.
Perhaps you can think of other ways to show appreciation to caregivers and other key people in your aging parent's life. Tell us about them.