The Gift of Caregiving

December 2022

While I prefer the word care PARTner to careGIVER, this holiday month suits the latter.  

‘Tis the season of “giving”.  

What greater gift can someone receive than unconditional care?  While not wrapped in fancy paper or hidden in a stocking, a caregiver’s role is an indispensable gift. 

Many of you reading this are considered a caregiver (or as I like to say, care PARTner) and perhaps, need to be reminded of the gift you give.  

Throughout November’s Family Caregiver Appreciation Month you may have come across information that resonated with you. Whether you read about statistics or symptoms of overwhelm, the month highlighted the valuable role of a caregiver. And just because November is over, we cannot forget the impact of the valuable gift you give.

Are you questioning why I describe caregiving as a gift? Are you someone who views it as an unrelenting chore that you wish you didn’t have to do? Do you ask yourself, “Why me?” and go to bed wishing there was more time in the day for yourself?

If you answered “Yes” to any of those questions you are NOT ALONE.

The role of careGIVEr can feel thankless

Let’s look at it this way:

  • The role of careGIVEr can be a gift to both you and the receiver. 
  • The role of careGIVEr lets you see an immediate benefit to someone else.  That is like someone opening a gift and smiling because they adore it. 
  • The role of careGIVER can be convenient:  you don’t even have to be in the same room as the receiver.  You can send a meal, giftcard, or other item right from your computer. You can arrange appointments, refill prescriptions, and manage finances right from your comfortable chair.
  • The role of careGIVEr is an essential part of the receiver’s life and well being. Gifts that we wrap may not be necessary or wanted. The receiver may have it already, exchange it, or regift it next year. The care you give is a gift that cannot be replaced. 
  • The role of careGIVEr provides reliable and predictable care.  If it wasn’t your role, would you question the person whose it was?  Some of us are control freaks and cannot sleep at night unless we know how things were done.  If someone else was caring for the person in your life, would you worry? Would you want to be involved in the decisions and kept up to date?  By being the one, you are able to oversee it all.  
  • The role of careGIVEr can feel thankless when you don’t hear words of appreciation or read thank you notes.  And while that feedback may not be obvious, the gifts of your time, attention, willingness, and love are things the receiver cannot be without.  Isn’t knowing that, a priceless and most precious gift?  I hope you know that it is. 

May you remind yourself or someone you know who is a careGIVEr, that as people do their holiday shopping and stress about what to buy, the person receiving your care has the greatest GIFT OF ALL.  

Happy Holidays and may 2023 bring lots of joy, peace, and smiles. 

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