Caregivers do so much for our communities and loved ones. Quite literally, their role is to care for, comfort, and attend to those who need it most. National Caregivers Day is an opportunity to give back to the countless professionals who give so much of themselves every other moment of the year.
Need some inspiration? We’ve got it in spades. Here are our very best tips and ideas for making February 16, 2024 an occasion to remember.
Importance of Appreciating Caregivers
There are exceptions to every rule, but nobody can deny this trend: careers in the caregiving space aren’t typically associated with very high salaries. According to Indeed, just 33% of caregivers in the United States think their wages are commensurate with their cost of living.
While a single day on the calendar certainly won’t make up for that disparity, celebrating National Caregivers Day is one of many ways we can show home care practitioners that we recognize and appreciate their efforts and sacrifices.
History of National Caregivers Day
Curious to know how National Caregivers Day came to be? Here’s a little history for you. Celebrations can vary by country, organization, and region, so there isn’t one universally recognized National Caregivers Day. We’ll be focusing on the United States for the purposes of this blog.
Purpose and Significance
Home health caregivers are essential pillars of the medical community. They work dutifully to restore patients’ health and make them as comfortable as possible at home, pouring so much attention and care into other people’s cups.
In 2015, the Providers Association for Home Health & Hospice Agencies (PAHHHA) decided caregivers’ cups deserved to be filled as well. And so, they proposed an annual day of appreciation to celebrate these dedicated workers who selflessly provide personal care, physical, and emotional support to others.
National Family Caregivers Month
National Family Caregivers Month is celebrated every November to recognize and honor family caregivers across the country. This initiative was started by the Caregiver Action Network (CAN), the most prominent family caregiver organization in the U.S.
The first National Caregivers Day celebration took place in 2016, and since then, the third Friday in February has been dedicated to observing this new holiday. In Canada, the day is observed on the first Tuesday in April.
Ways to Celebrate National Caregivers Day
There are so many ways to express appreciation and gratitude, both today and every day. Here are a few thoughtful ideas for the caregivers in your lives who selflessly provide care and support to individuals in need.
Writing Thank-You Notes
A simple but heartfelt “thank you” can mean the world to a caregiver. Take the time to express your appreciation verbally or in a handwritten note, letting them know that their efforts are recognized and valued. A card in particular is something they can look back on again and again.
Giving a Thoughtful Gift
Consider giving a thoughtful gift that shows you care. This could be a personalized item, something helpful they can use at work, a gift certificate for self-care (like a spa day) or an everyday treat (like a coffee shop), or something that aligns with their interests. When in doubt, a box of chocolates or a soothing scented candle will always do the trick!
Offering to Help Caregivers
If you know a caregiver personally, offer to provide some assistance or respite care. One of the most valuable gifts a caregiver could ask for is a break, so they can take some time to recharge their batteries or attend to their own needs.
Cooking a Homemade Meal
Nothing says “thinking of you” like a warm home-cooked meal – made with love, of course. Cooking takes work off of caregivers’ already overflowing plates, so why not pile their plates high with goodies instead? Bonus points if there’s enough for lunch the next day!
Donating to Caregiver Support Organizations
Support caregivers everywhere by contributing to organizations that provide support, resources, and assistance. Your donation can make a significant impact, and if you know a caregiver personally, you may even be able to make a contribution in their name.
Promoting Awareness in Social Media
The more people know about this national day of gratitude, the more caregivers will receive gifts and support just like these. Share a hashtagged post or add a shout-out to your story – every small effort adds to the awareness wave.
Useful Resources for Caregivers
For every other day of the year, there are resources designed to support caregivers’ overall health and well-being.
This nonprofit organization provides access to hundreds of volunteer therapists for healthcare workers in need. They also conduct their own research and make it easy to access a variety of important resources related to caregivers’ mental health needs.
This mobile app uses neuroscience, contemplative traditions, and skill-based learning methods to help users develop the skills for a healthy mind. It features meditation practices, podcast-style lessons, and customized reports that track wellbeing over time.
We won’t skirt the issue – burnout has an outsized presence in the healthcare field. These talks feature some of the world’s top minds and are designed to help viewers reframe, heal, and cope with their feelings toward work.
Celebrating Caregivers Year-Round
One of the best ways to support your caregiver team all year long is to make their job easier. Home healthcare platforms like AxisCare take tedious administrative work off their plates and streamline tasks for an easier, more seamless daily workflow.
From automatic scheduling and routing to intelligent matching systems, these simple yet impactful tools can help boost satisfaction and retention long-term. Want to learn more? Request a free live demo.