If your loved one is being cared for by a paid individual or team of caregivers or aides — in a facility or home — you may want to recognize their work this holiday season. Here are some holiday giving ideas and insider tips from an Aging Life Care Professional™ to guide you.
by Suzanne Modigliani, LICSW, CMC – Aging Life Care Association™ Member and
Fellow of the Leadership Academy
At this time of year, I am asked by clients about gift giving ideas for the caregiving team. Families are very appreciative of the hard work done by caregivers. Obviously, there are no set rules and pocketbooks vary.
For aging adults being cared for at home, there is often a close bond between the care recipient and caregiver who provides such intimate care, particularly if the job is full-time. If the caregiver or aide is employed by a home-care agency, it is important to first check with agency administration for any gift-giving rules or guidelines. Some agencies set gift guidelines or ask that unusual gifts be reported so they are sure there has been on undue influence. For families who are feeling very generous, a week’s pay is a guideline. Other families have given gift cards from large stores where they know the aides might shop. That tends to be a smaller amount. Workers are appreciative of these gifts, more than food or other gift items.
For families who are feeling very generous, a week’s pay is a guideline. Other families have given gift cards from large stores where they know the aides might shop. That tends to be a smaller amount. Workers are appreciative of these gifts, more than food or other gift items.
The team of caregivers is so large at nursing homes, it is hard to know whom to honor. If you have a particular relationship with a primary aide, perhaps a gift card. On the other hand, there are so many people involved, that often a cookie tray, nuts, or similar food platter is left at the nurses’s station.
The same challenge is true in assisted living communities. There are many people working with your relative from the dining room staff to activities to direct care. So, similarly, a gift that can be shared seems most appropriate.
I am also asked about gifts after a loved one dies and how to recognize the very close relationship between the family and caregivers. I have had clients leave money to caregivers in their wills or families make large gifts after death. There really should be no talk of this in advance of death. As one home care agency said to me, they did not want the workers operating on a “lottery” mentality. Again, the agency needs to be aware of any large gifts.
A few months ago a huge party was taking place at a nursing home I visit. The activities room was decorated to the max. There was cake, ice cream sundaes and floats, plus towers of any candy you could think of. It turns out it was a party for the entire staff of the large facility, given in memory of a resident who had just died. What a terrific idea!
About the author: Suzanne Modigliani, LICSW, CMC is an Aging Life Care™ specialist in Brookline, MA who works with families to find solutions to complicated elder care problems. She has been a leader in the Aging Life Care Association and quoted extensively in the media as seen on her website modiglianigeriatrics.com.
This blog is for informational purposes only and does not constitute, nor is it intended to be a substitute for, professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Information on this blog does not necessarily reflect official positions of the Aging Life Care Association™ and is provided “as is” without warranty. Always consult with a qualified professional with any particular questions you may have regarding your or a family member’s needs.