Caring for the Caregiver

by Jillian Chertok



  • Approximately 43.5 million caregivers have provided unpaid care to an adult or child in the last 12 months.
  • About 34.2 million Americans have provided unpaid care to an adult age 50 or older in the last 12 months.
  • Approximately 39.8 million caregivers provide care to adults (aged 18+) with a disability or illness, or 16.6% of Americans.
  • About 15.7 million adult family caregivers care for someone who has Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia.

Taking care of an elderly and/or disabled or ill person can be a lot of work. It requires patience, compassion and understanding. While November 13 is Caregiver Appreciation Day, caregivers should really be celebrated all year long. Caregivers do the very important work of watching over and taking care of our loved ones when we are unable to do so, and while they do not typically seek or expect any recognition, it’s nice to show them how much they are appreciated.


If there’s a caregiver in your life, don’t forget to thank them every now and then, and especially on November 13, for all they do. Here are 10 thoughtful ways you can show appreciation for the caregiver(s) in your life:

  1. Give, or send, a hand-written thank-you card. Add flowers if you can!
  2. Give them the day off and take on the caregiving responsibility for that day.
  3. Buy them tickets to a show, or sporting event, to be used on their day off.
  4. Give them a gift certificate to their favorite restaurant.
  5. Have a meal sent to their home.
  6. Take them out for lunch or dinner.
  7. Treat them to a spa day.
  8. Give them a goody bag of at-home spa products they can use at their leisure – massager; body lotions; scrubs; foot, hand and face masks; etc.
  9. Buy them a “just because” gift. Maybe something you think they can use, or something you know they would like to buy for themselves.
  10. Tell them. Sometimes all it takes is the acknowledgement of someone’s services to know they are appreciated, to make that person’s day.


What are the ways you show appreciation to the caregiver(s) in your life?

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