According to the American Psychological Association, “Almost a third of the adult U.S. population is a caregiver for an ill or disabled relative.” Considering this statistic focuses on family caregivers, and does not account for professional or informal caregivers, it is safe to assume that the actual percentage of caregivers in the United States is significantly higher than 33%. Interestingly, many caregivers would never identify as such. They see helping a friend or loved one with doctor’s appointments, organizing medicines, or even everyday personal hygiene tasks as simply doing the right thing, or doing what is expected of them. Even those who consider themselves professional caregivers, those who work in senior living facilities, hospitals, or similar environments, are often not recognized for their work that goes above and beyond the expected day-to-day tasks of physical caregiving. There is a mental load that professional and volunteer caregivers often never discuss or take the time to process because, by nature, these individuals are accustomed to putting the needs of others before their own.
At Status Solutions, we recognize the importance of honoring and celebrating the caregivers in our lives. Through our partnerships with senior living communities and various healthcare providers, we regularly see the physical and emotional toll this often underappreciated role can take on an individual. That’s why we feel it is important to take the time to recognize the caretakers in our communities and the vital part they play for the individuals they help.
3 Ways to Thank a Caregiver in Your Life
- Time: One of the most important gifts you could give a non-professional caregiver is the gift of time off. Don’t just say “If you ever need a break…” and then leave it up to that person to reach out. Take out your calendar and schedule a break for that person, where you will either cover for them or make arrangements for someone to do so. Unfortunately, this sign of gratitude is not so easily given to the professional caregivers who help care for our loved ones, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t other ways to show thanks.
- A note of gratitude: Taking the time to write a thank you note or a letter of appreciation may seem insignificant, but it is far from that. When someone takes the time to put words to paper and sincerely recognizes the efforts of another person, it makes that person feel seen. Appreciation can create a kindness ripple. Quite simply appreciating others and also feeling appreciated helps make the world a better place. And if you’re taking the time to appreciate a professional caretaker who cares for someone special in your life, don’t just take the time to let them know how grateful you are, also take the time to let their supervisor know.
- A gift or a small token of appreciation: If you’re in a financial situation that would allow you to gift a day at the spa, or even a gift card to a nice restaurant, then by all means, be generous to the caretakers in your life. However, a token of gratitude does not have to break the bank. Something as simple as a $10 gift card to the coffee shop or even a handpicked bouquet can show a person how grateful you are for the work they do and the way they go above and beyond. Again, it all comes back to making that person feel seen and appreciated.
It may seem strange that a middleware technology company specializing in situational awareness would blog about ways to appreciate the caretakers in our lives, but at Status Solutions, we believe in holistic situational awareness. That means we believe in not just protecting the whole person, but also caring about them as individuals. Our technology suites can help professional caregivers do their jobs more efficiently and effectively, resulting in healthier, safer, and happier patients, but none of that matters if the people using our services are not also being cared for properly. Situational awareness is an outcome. We use our customizable technologies and Innovation Program, focusing on a holistic approach, to get our customers to that result. Our technology suite focuses on physical, environmental, social, and mental factors to create safer surroundings. But what really matters is our why, and that is quite simple. We believe nothing matters more than people, and beyond protecting life with our technologies, we also believe in the little things, like gratitude. Former First Lady, Rosalynn Carter once said, “There are only four kinds of people in this world: those who have been caregivers, those who are currently caregivers, those who will be caregivers, and those who will need caregivers. Caregiving is universal.” So to all the caregivers in the world, Status Solutions salutes you, and quite simply says, Thank you. We see you.
To learn more about our solutions, or how Status Solutions can help you, please visit www.StatusSolutions.com
About the Author
Laura Hartman is a former middle school and high school English teacher. Currently, she is a Marketing Specialist for Status Solutions in Westerville, Ohio, where she calls upon her years of experience in the classroom to aid the company’s mission of protecting the vulnerable and preventing violence in schools.