Being a caregiver is a lot of work and, oftentimes, they can feel like their work goes unnoticed. Whether a caregiver looks after a family member in their home or they work at an assisted living facility caring for other people’s family members, they give of their time, energy, and attention to make sure their patient feels cared for and loved.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- What Should You Look for in a Gift for a Caregiver?
- Best Thank You Gifts for Caregivers
- Best Holiday Gifts for Caregivers
- Best Gifts for Caregivers of Cancer Patients
- Best Gifts for Caregivers of Alzheimer’s Patients
- Best Gifts for Caregivers at a Nursing Home or Assisted Living Facility
- Best Gifts for Caregivers After a Death
The gift ideas in this article will help you show your appreciation for everything they do.
What Should You Look for in a Gift for a Caregiver?
Getting someone a perfect gift to thank them for the way they’ve looked after parents or others under their care can be tougher than it sounds. However, if you keep these general rules in mind, you’ll be able to narrow down your choices and go from generic to personalized in a few easy steps.
- Choose a gift that matches their personality. Do they love reading and relaxing or going out to concerts? Keep these preferences in mind.
- Gather intel on their favorite things including scents, drinks, colors, and foods. The personal touch of a gift in their favorite shade or scent always goes a long way.
- Keep information about their allergies and dietary preferences. If they’re gluten-free, a platter of decadent homemade chocolate chip cookies isn’t going to go very far. It may be “the thought that counts,” but the caregiver would certainly appreciate something they can enjoy.
- Go for things that will give them an opportunity to participate in self-care. Choose things that will help them relax, give them a night out, or pursue something enjoyable like a hobby. Caregivers are always helping others. Choose a gift that helps them recharge.
- Ultimately, choose what you think the caregiver would most appreciate at any season. Use the gift guide below to gather ideas but certainly don’t restrict yourself to any one category.
Best Thank You Gifts for Caregivers
Caregivers pour all of their time, energy, focus, and attention into those they care for. Thank them for their hard work with a thoughtful gift any time of the year.
1. A night out
Gift a caregiver a gift certificate to their favorite restaurant. No matter who they go with, they’ll get to enjoy a little self-care after all they’ve done to care for another person.
2. Willow Tree "thank you" figurine
Willow Tree is known for its creative figurines that represent many stages of life. The "Thank You" figurine is a delicate angel holding a wire sign that says "thank you." This is the perfect way to express your gratitude for all they’ve done, and it’s small enough to be placed anywhere they’d like, from a mantle to their nightstand.
3. A journal and pen set
This gift is perfect for guys and gals and can be customized according to a caregiver’s favorite colors and interests. Personalize the journal by writing a letter in the first few pages and thanking them for their dedication, selflessness, and service for your loved one. This is likely a journal that will get used and kept for a long time.
4. Diffuser and oils set
Caregivers spend so much time caring for others that they often forget to take care of themselves, too. Encourage self-care with a diffuser and essential oil set. Include oils that promote uplifting, calm environments and relaxation such as lavender, chamomile, and orange.
5. Customized inspirational blanket
Create a custom blanket with inspirational quotes, verses, or sayings. Include a thank you message at the top or bottom of the blanket. This gift would go especially well with coordinating slippers, a bathrobe, or a book from their favorite author.
Best Holiday Gifts for Caregivers
The holidays are a perfect time to give something extra special to caregivers who work tirelessly year-round to care for others.
6. Special holiday baked goods
During fall and winter, many bakeries bake special holiday goodies that are only available for a short time. Find out about their favorites and put a basket together featuring each of the goodies they love.
7. Self-care basket
Gift a basket full of items to comfort such as a soft microfiber blanket, a mug and tea packets, fuzzy socks, and a neck pillow. You can be sure these will come as a welcome addition to the long nights spent tending to loved ones.
8. Gift card to their favorite coffee shop
Holidays can be a perfect time to gift someone the chance to go out to a coffee shop with a friend or solo for their favorite custom drink. Give them the ability to get and experience the holiday atmosphere with this gift.
9. Tickets to a seasonal show or event
Does the caregiver you’re thinking of love the holiday season? Treat them with tickets to a seasonal show or holiday event. Just be sure to check ahead of time for dates they’re available. Gift them a set of tickets so they can take a spouse, friend, or significant other.
10. A wine or spirits basket
This option will be on the higher end budget-wise but well worth it for a caregiver who is particularly into wine or other drinks. Curate a custom basket with local and artisan wines or spirits such as bourbon, whisky, or scotch. Include edible goodies that pair well with the drink selections and a pair of custom wine or drink glasses that are stamped with a special message on the side.
Best Gifts for Caregivers of Cancer Patients
Though any of the gifts in this article are appropriate for caregivers of cancer patients, these gifts are especially appropriate. Some of these suggestions also work well as gifts for terminal cancer patients.
11. Inspirational quote or verse flip calendar
Give the gift of encouragement and boost a caregiver’s mental health with a flip calendar containing inspirational quotes or verses. Choose the best option based on how religious they may or may not be to provide a suitable gift. Consider gifting them a planner and pen along with the inspirational flip calendar so they have somewhere convenient to keep track of appointments and schedules.
12. A helpful book
Caregiving is hard, to say the least. The best books for caregivers feed their souls and help them navigate the murky waters of discouragement, exhaustion, burnout, and stress. Two books to consider gifting include Meditations for Caregivers: Practical, Emotional, and Spiritual Support for You and Your Family by Barry J. Jacobs and Chicken Soup for the Caregiver’s Soul by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen.
13. Personalized tumbler
Depending on how far along the person is in their cancer journey, the caregiver might be taking them to doctor’s appointments, driving them to chemo appointments, and taking them to other places they need to go. A personalized tumbler for the caregiver is perfect to make sure they get to take their morning or afternoon coffee with them to the doctor’s, the store, or hospital appointments.
14. Bright sunshiny flowers
The journey through cancer and caring for someone going through the disease can leave caregivers feeling exhausted, mentally worn down, and tired. Gift them a beautiful array of bright flowers such as sunflowers to help brighten any room they’re in and give them something to smile about.
15. Cancer awareness bracelet
A caregiver for a cancer patient is already well aware of cancer. However, a bracelet gives them the opportunity to share their work and raise awareness when away from their caregiving job. Depending on the caregiver’s personality, you’ll want to choose a bracelet that is beautiful and delicate or fun and flashy. Either way, pick a bracelet in the color that represents the type of cancer the person has.
Best Gifts for Caregivers of Alzheimer’s Patients
Alzheimer’s disease robs patients of their memory a little at a time. Caregivers have to watch this progression and do what they can to ease the transition. These gifts are especially meaningful for those who care for Alzheimer’s patients.
16. Hobby activities
Caregiving can be an all-encompassing job, leaving little time for caregivers to take care of themselves. Find out what hobbies the caregiver enjoys and gift them a kit, a gift card to a hobby store, or supplies for a project. Make the project something small and doable so they can get it done during any downtime they do have.
17. Memory Book
A memory book can be created in two ways. One, you can create a memory book for the caregiver to use with the patient that has pictures of family members and activities the patient and their family has enjoyed together. This can aid with memory loss and help with identification during later stages.
Two, you can compile a memory book with pictures of the caregiver and the patient for the caregiver to look through and enjoy. This is especially enjoyable if the caregiver and patient have gotten to do things together like visit the zoo or the beach during their time together.
18. Collage picture frame
Alzheimer’s is a devastating disease that eventually robs the patient of many or all of their memories of loved ones. Witnessing this progression as a family member caregiver can be devastating. Gift them a collage picture frame with pictures of them and their loved ones from various stages to help them remember and think back on the good times they had together.
19. Personal massager
Those who care for people with late-stage Alzheimer’s will do a lot of lifting, positioning, and maneuvering the person they care for. This activity can cause their muscles to be tight, resulting in headaches, migraines, and sore backs. Give them the gift of a massage any time they need it with a personal massager. You can find personal massagers made for the neck, back muscles, and for achy, tired feet.
20. Alzheimer’s awareness bracelet
Just like cancer awareness gifts, an Alzheimer’s awareness bracelet can give a caregiver a sense of purpose when away from the person they care for. They can use the bracelet to encourage conversation about their job and the need to fund research for a cure for Alzheimer’s.
Tailor the bracelet to the preferences of the caregiver by noting their usual jewelry choices. If they enjoy loud, fun, flashy jewelry, purchase a bracelet that fits in with their normal jewelry style. The same thing goes for those that enjoy wearing delicate or refined jewelry.
Best Gifts for Caregivers at a Nursing Home or Assisted Living Facility
Caregivers at a nursing home, hospice care, or assisted living facility can feel like their work goes unnoticed. Make sure they know you see all their hard work and that you’re thankful for what they do by getting them a gift like these. These options also make excellent gifts for doctors at the assisted living facility.
21. Monthly magazine subscription
Choose a magazine that pairs well with things they enjoy such as gardening, crafts, interior design, cooking, or travel. This subscription should be all about them and serve as a way to help them relax and invest in themselves. You might even see them bringing their favorite new magazine to your loved one to share a unique article or idea they learned.
Note: You can opt to gift books on Alzheimer's and dementia but if you do, be sure to include something along with it that is just for the caregiver.
22. "Best Caregiver Ever" shirt
Let a caregiver know how thankful you are by giving them a "Best Caregiver Ever" shirt. Choose the style and color according to what you know about them. A shirt that fits just how they like in a color they love with a phrase that tells the world what they do will be sure to leave them feeling loved and proud.
23. Angel pendant for a bracelet or necklace
Caregivers at nursing homes do their best to make every person they care for feel special, loved, and valued. Show them how much you appreciate them by giving them an angel pendant for a bracelet or necklace. Include a "thank you" note to your caregiver that says, “You’re an angel! Thank you for all you do!”
24. Gift card for a mani/pedi
Nurses and caregivers are on their feet all day long. Give them the chance to kick back and relax for a little while with a mani/pedi at a nearby nail salon. Include a gift card for a lunch out and you’ve got a gift that will bless their heart and stomach.
25. Lotion set
Caregivers are constantly using, and washing, their hands. If not careful, their skin can become dry and cracked. Choose a lotion set you know your loved one’s caregiver would enjoy such as lavender or orange for gals and cedar or pine for guys. Choose lotions that boast nutrient-rich ingredients such as Vitamin E, shea butter, and avocado oil.
Best Gifts for Caregivers After a Death
Caregivers often become quite close to those they are looking after, and a patient’s death can feel devastating. Give the caregiver a hug and let them know you’re thinking of them with one of these gifts.
26. Meal subscription
Caregivers become incredibly attached to those they care for even if they’re not family. When the person they helped for so long passes away, the devastation and grief can be just as intense as if they were a member of the family. The last thing they want to deal with is fixing meals or worrying about feeding their family while dealing with the emotions of grief.
Get them a month or two of a weekly meal subscription for them and their family. Find out about their allergies and preferences and choose a meal service that caters to their needs. Most subscriptions have options for vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free versions of their plans.
27. Monthly gourmet food subscription
After someone passes away, there is usually a flurry of cards, flowers, and gifts to say thank you. Those gifts typically stop coming pretty fast, however. Signing up a caregiver for a monthly subscription for six months or a year is a simple way of saying thank you and letting them know how grateful you are for their months or years of care for your loved one. Choose gourmet items you know they’ll enjoy such as artisan pasta, baked goods, chocolates, coffees, or exotic fruit.
28. Canvas art
You can choose to personalize canvas art in numerous ways from including a stylized picture of the caregiver and their patient to choosing an inspirational quote with a nature scene background. You could also opt to include a thank you message, a custom phrase, or a saying of your own. No matter what you do, choose an option that will honor their service and put a smile on their faces.
29. Inspirational bracelet cuff
Give them a bracelet cuff with a verse, quote, or inspirational words to encourage them after the loss of their patient. Consider including a journal and pen or mug along with the bracelet and condolences card to make a complete gift.
30. “You Make a Difference” keychain
This sweet addition to their keys will serve as a constant reminder of how appreciative you are for their service. It will also put a smile on their faces when they remember the difference they made in the life of their patient.
Honoring Caregivers Year-Round
Being a caregiver isn’t an easy task. Often, the guys and gals who work so hard can feel overlooked and unnoticed. Let them know how important they are by gifting them something special during their birthday, the holidays, or just because.