Celebrate Caregivers This Valentine’s Day

wheelchair user and his family sitting outside of a business next to a red dodge wheelchair van

Like any holiday, Valentine’s Day has its own set of common internet searches that often center around “online dating,” “best date night ideas,” “love poems,” and “gifts for significant other.” For people who are not in romantic relationships or even for those who are, Valentine’s Day can feel like a chore or an unnecessary holiday. Yet, because Valentine’s Day is a holiday celebrating love and affection, it can be a great opportunity to show appreciation for others, such as a caregiver in your life. 

Celebrate Caregivers This Valentine’s Day

BraunAbility asked caregiver members of The Driving Force (our online community helping us create a more mobility-inclusive world – learn more here!) if they felt appreciated for all the care they provide and the extra responsibility on their shoulders.

  • 25% of respondents said they were thanked for their hard work by a spouse, but not from the person they provide care for.
  • 50% of respondents said they wished they were thanked or recognized more often for their efforts as a caregiver.

We asked members of The Driving Force how they make sure their caregiver knows how grateful they are for their help and support. Since such a large percentage of caregivers are looking for a little extra love, we hope these tips might give you some new ideas this Valentine’s Day.

4 Ways to Show Someone You Love Them This Valentine’s Day:

1. Find ways of paying back the kindness they show while caregiving

One Driving Force responder said they like to show their appreciation by returning the favor and looking for ways to make life a little easier for their caregiver. Examples include picking things off the floor, creating the shopping list, or buying or making a small gift. Even small kindnesses like remembering tasks for them like buying a card for your grandson’s birthday or that you are almost out of salt will help your caretaker feel more organized and cared for.

2. Say “Thank you.”

It sounds like a small gesture, but sometimes that is all that is truly needed. Showing your gratitude for what your caregiver does for you lets them know you don’t take their work for granted. You can say thank you in big ways with cards and balloons or in small ways with just a verbal acknowledgement. The important thing is that you take the time to show that you notice the choices they make for you to better your life and you are grateful for it.

3. Say “I love you.”

It wouldn’t be Valentine’s Day without a little love! This may be more appropriate if the caregiver is a spouse, significant other, parent, etc.  Providing care for someone is an intimate gesture and highly specific from person to person. Sometimes mistakes are made, feelings hurt, or patience tried. However, it’s important to stop and think about the mountains of good a caregiver provides and remind them how much you love them for not just what they do, but also for who they are.

4. Give them a night off

Really! Maybe your disability means you can’t be without care for more than an hour at a time. Arrange a substitute of sorts so your caregiver can have some time to themselves to take care of their own wellbeing. Not only will they have a chance to recharge doing something that they find enjoyable such as spending time with family, self-pampering, or retail therapy, but they will also be grateful to you for organizing such a thoughtful offering.

Whatever you choose to do this Valentine’s Day, we hope that you will take a moment to recognize the special people in your life, especially your caregivers. And to all the outstanding caregivers out there: thank you and we love you! 

Want to get involved with The Driving Force community? Click on the link to read additional articles, learn about the community, and see what we’ve already implemented with your help. 

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