The last thing caregivers need is more stress, and with the holidays looming I’ve attempted to reduce chaos with a simple holiday gift guide. Both caregivers and care-partners have a unique set of circumstances which can make shopping and gifting a challenge. The items below will hopefully eliminate any chance of gifts being re-gifted! I should also mention several things listed are sold through Amazon and as part of their affiliate program, I receive a small commission for guiding you to their website. Fear not! This comes at no extra charge to you, but I’m required to mention the association. That being said, I greatly appreciate your support in using my website as a vehicle for your holiday shopping. Hopefully you’ll find some goodies below.
It’s probably no surprise that I am a hobby enthusiast but let’s face it, as a caregiver I have a lot of time on my hands. Not exactly free time for exploring whims but still, a significant amount of house bound hours that are grueling without personal projects. You might think that a sense of purpose would come from the careship however caregivers often preform duties to meet obligations, rather than fulfill passions. As hours stretch into years, it’s easy for a caregiver to lose sight of personal interests and fall prey to couch inertia. The lifestyle offer’s little in the way of personal development so one of the best gifts you can give someone restricted by circumstance are items that can improve their quality of life.
The Joy Of Cooking
My first recommendation is the Joy of Cooking cookbook. It’s a kitchen staple for long-time chefs and cooking newbies alike. There are no glamorous photos but it contains everything else. It’s like a massive index of all things cooking and you’ll be hard pressed to find a recipe that’s not listed. I recommend this book because caregiver or not, one’s future absolutely includes food. Why not gift a book that offers both a distraction with a necessary outcome... Dinner! I frequently reference my copy for everything from quick breads and cakes, to cocktails and stews. Seriously, it’s got everything; even Dutch Babies! Cooking can be a form of therapy and this book hosts hours of dishes that can help nurse a heartache or nurture health. No matter the season of life, know how to cook will always come in handy.
2. Set of Carving Knives
We can’t talk about caregivers without mentioning the self-care hypocrisy. The fluffy “make time for yourself”comments have never proved more telling of a societal misunderstanding. The caregivers I know frequently express frustration towards self-care directives that suggest things like an escape or break. Such advice, although well intended, is an absurdity in our reality. Most caregivers lack the the support to truly step away from their duties be it financial, emotional, or otherwise, and all the more reason to rethink self-care as an activity done in place. Forget escaping. It’s just not a legit option… But activities that provide a therapeutic distraction within the context of caregiving, might provide a more substantial escape than any short getaway. Spoon carving (or any kind of carving) is a wonderful stationary escape. It’s a mediation of sorts, allowing one to sink into new mental space and temporarily avoid the ills that can plague shared physical space. If a therapeutic gift is on your list, then considering gifting a set carving knives. There are lots of beginner carving books on the market to help folks get started and I’m available to help anyone that buys these knives with free coaching at the start of the new year.
3. 100 No-Equipment Workouts
If you are looking for a more traditional approach with a gift of self-care, this book offers an outlet for health while staying true to the reality of the caregiver life. Many cannot retreat to a local gym and also lack the finances to outfit their own gym at home. The workout books by Neila Rey, help eliminate those obstacles. I’ve been working my way through the one below which has been a great way to incorporate exercise into my day, and perhaps more importantly, blow-off some much need steam. Exercise is one of those things everyone needs to make time for but the caregiver lifestyle can make that a hurdle. Determining how to make time for exercise, let alone what activities to preform, can actually induce stress when one is already fighting overwhelm. This book helps eliminate those questions with simple workouts easily done at home. I’m recommending it because I use it. A small step towards “making time for myself.”
It’s not all about the caregivers. The struggle for gifting those under care is real! Many care-partners, especially seniors, can be difficult to shop for as gifts can feel meaningless. Those that suffer cognitive disorders like Alzheimer’s or Dementia may no longer understand the feelings behind the holiday gesture. Others might feel there is nothing they need and would prefer friends and family save money rather than spend it on them. Such sentiments may very well be true, but many of us still desire to shower our loved ones with gifts this time of the year. Below are a couple of items I’m giving my father this year.
Simon Memory Game
I’m going old school with this Simon memory game by Hasbro. You remember the one, right? Where the buttons light up with a musical tone and the player tries to repeat the order. It’s part fun and part memory therapy with a throwback to vintage games I think we both can enjoy.
2. Bed Sheets
The Simon game aside, I struggle knowing what to get my dad because his dementia disrupts so much. His favorite things of yesteryear no longer interest him. So rather than take chances I’m going with useful. New sheets! The man loves airplanes and space and luckily I can find both in bed sheets! Sheets pretty much come in every color, patterns, and thread count. If you are lost for ideas, just know you can’t go wrong with sheets.
In case you are looking to send an edible gift, I have just the thing!
My favorite inspirational baker Sara C. Owens, of Ritual Fine Foods, has holiday cookie boxes that include an assortment of whole grain and heirlooms flour cookies! Now, as a baker I might be slightly biased but how can you go wrong with the wholesome touch of artisan baking?
Click here to order cookies and browse the other offerings by Ritual Fine Foods. Boxes are limited so go on. Get! The clock is ticking on this one.
There’s probably lots of things I forgot here so don’t hesitate to add your ideas! Birthdays and other gifting events are just around the corner so don’t hold back. This can be a tough crowd to shop for so the more the merrier when it comes to recommendations.
Have a wonderful holiday season! And good luck managing any overwhelm. It’s a busy time but we’ll get through it.;)