Caregiving and Thanksgiving- How to Cultivate Gratitude this Holiday Season?

“The unthankful heart discovers no mercies, but the thankful heart will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings.”

– Henry Ward Beecher

The United States of America is anticipated to witness a national caregiver shortage of 151,000 workers by 2030. Eyeing the deficit, home care agencies must remember to say “thank you,” as it may be the key to keeping the caregivers agency owners already have.

Appreciating caregivers goes a long way, especially during the holiday season, when the home care industry faces the worst caregiver shortage.

Studies show that 93% of workers who reported feeling appreciated said they were motivated to perform their best at work.

-American Psychological Association

November, as you are aware, is the National Family Caregivers Month to show your support and appreciation for the caregivers in our lives. Senior caregiving can take a physical and emotional toll on caregivers, especially caring for a loved one with dementia.

This holiday season, it is worth appreciating your caregivers by saying thanks. Caregiver appreciation is well deserved, after all. Finding your feelings of gratitude can help restore a caregiver’s well-being and reduce stress. But, the real question is how?

Here are some unique ways of cultivating “gratitude” and spreading a little holiday cheer this season:

  • Pay your Caregivers early with a Little Extra for the Holidays:

    One in every four caregivers live below the poverty line with a median income of less than $14,000.

    -Annual Home Care Benchmarking Study

    The holiday season can become troublesome for in-home caregivers, especially those who live paycheck to paycheck. Make a striking difference in your caregivers’ lives by anticipating their financial needs and surprising them with an added holiday bonus to relieve the financial pressure during the holiday season.

    Receiving a paycheck in advance is a simple way of saying thank you to the caregivers. Also, it helps home care agencies save an average of $171,600 in annual caregiver turnover costs.

  • Drop off a Turkey for Thanksgiving:

    Let your caregivers know that their Thanksgiving dinner is on you. A turkey or a gift card can show how thankful the family is to have them as caregivers for seniors. Chances are they did not have much time to shop for their meal.

    Studies show that over 56% of caregivers are full-time workers.

    -AARP

    Whether you decide to hand out gift cards or turkeys, your caregivers are sure to appreciate how you took the time to cater to their needs apart from a regular paycheck.

  • Train your Schedulers to Retain Caregivers:

    Home caregiver services often set a goal for their caregivers to treat the client like their own family. But when was the last time that you, as a home care agency, prioritize your caregiver’s well-being over everything else?

    Schedulers are often in a tight spot when accommodating their caregiver’s time-off requests during the holiday season.

    However, the best way for schedulers to tackle the challenge is to encourage caregivers to submit their leave requests early so that schedulers get time to coordinate their vacation requests. This is one way agencies can garner caregiver support. Let them feel valued, knowing that their time and wishes are respected.

  • Express Gratitude in the Words of their Clients:

    Caregivers make a striking difference in their client’s life through their work. Do not let your caregivers feel their work is taken for granted this holiday season.

    Instead, let your clients create thank you cards that show appreciation for your caregivers’ hard work and how it contributes to your well-being. Family members may encourage the elderly to recall an incident when they were particularly impressed with the caregiver’s efforts and invaluable service.

    After all, praise sounds better straight from the source.

Conclusion: Be Thankful

While you should not wait for thanksgiving to express gratitude, this day is a gentle reminder to cultivate gratefulness for the stability your caregivers bring into your clients’ homes and your company culture to help your caregivers feel appreciated.

Saying a simple thank you to caregivers can bring happiness and joy to them this holiday season.

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Related blog posts:

Planning Thanksgiving for Caregivers
Exciting Thanksgiving Tips for Seniors and Caregivers

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