Thursday, December 15, 2011

Eldercare Tip: Tried & True Holiday Gifts for Caregivers

Today candies, cookies and other sweet treats fill the staff rooms where your aging parent lives. And with good reason. You want to play Santa to the caregivers who've doled out unconditional love all year long. Even when Mom or Dad is naughty, they've been nice.

Great idea! Just a favor. PLEASE skip the sugar and other junk food!

I like the idea of group gifts. Most eldercare organizations don't allow family members to give individual staffers money or gifts. The rationale is that the housekeepers may not be as visible in your parent's care, but they play a key role nevertheless. Ditto for workers in the financial office or the groundskeepers.

Here are some tried and true Holiday group gifts that are light on the waistline and actually boost energy.

1. A fruit bowl, with mandarines, oranges, grapefruit, plus any-time favorites like apples and pears. Provide a paring knife. If you'd like to add some protein, nuts are a good selection.

2. A crockpot filled with hot spiced cider. Or bottles of sparkling juices.

3. A holiday-decorated tin of popcorn. Yum.

4. Cheeses and whole-grained crackers or a make-your-own sandwich spread. Toppings can be refrigerated.

5. Pizza for all or a group sub-sandwich.

6. A crockpot filled with chili or soup.

7. Cash. See if your eldercare organization has an employee appreciation fund that takes donations. In the retirement community where I work, Evergreen Court in Bellevue, Washington, families are encouraged to give money to the resident council which divides it evenly among all employees.

8. Donations toward a specific item all employees can share. Often the administration knows of needs that can benefit everyone: a new television (or money toward one) for the staff room, an espresso machine, a piece of exercise equipment, etc.

Can you think of other gifts for caregivers and others in your aging parent's life?

1 comment:

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