November is Caregiver Awareness Month. Caregivers play a huge role in most patients’ cancer care. The primary caregiver will often be present at every appointment and be by the patient’s side while recovering from surgery or treatment. Caregivers are organizers, cleaners, cooks, chauffeurs, nurses, and therapists. Caregivers do it all! Whether you are a patient or concerned loved one, show the caregivers in your life that you appreciate all that they do. Here are four ways to thank a caregiver this month.
Say thank you.
A simple, verbal thank you can go a long way. In the rush of the day-to-day, it’s important to take a moment to recognize all that caregivers do. If you are a patient in the thick of treatment, the ways you can show your appreciation for your caregiver may be limited, but never underestimate the power of saying thank you.
Remind caregivers to care for themselves too.
Sometimes caregivers overwork themselves mentally and emotionally because caring for their loved one is the top priority. Some caregivers may even feel guilty if they take time for themselves. As the saying goes, you can’t pour from an empty cup. Encourage caregivers to care for themselves too. If you are not the patient, volunteer to take over for the primary caregiver for a day. Bring over a meal so the caregiver doesn’t have to cook. Offer to do some chores around the house or run a few errands. If you are the patient, on a day you’re feeling well, let your caregiver know it is okay to take a rest.
Send a simple gift.
Order flowers or fresh fruit for a caregiver who could use a boost. You could also make a homemade card or bake cookies. Give a gift card for a relaxing massage. A thoughtful gift can show your appreciation and brighten the caregiver’s day.
Give a caregiver a shout out.
For Caregiver Awareness Month, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) is sharing messages of thanks for caregivers submitted by patients and their families. If you would like to recognize a caregiver or read these inspiring messages, click here. Many hospitals and treatment centers do similar tributes during November to thank caregivers. Check to see if yours does too.
If you are a caregiver, all of us at PearlPoint Cancer Support thank you for the care and support you provide your loved one on a daily basis. The Caregiver Handbook from PearlPoint Cancer Support contains everything you need to know to more confidently manage your role as a caregiver for a cancer patient. Download your free copy today.