A Guide to National Caregivers Day: Date, Ideas & How to Celebrate

Updated

National Caregivers Day is our yearly opportunity to show appreciation to caregiving professionals. These people spend their time taking care of the people we love, so it’s important to honor them whenever we can. 

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Caregivers provide various essential services, including medical support and personal care. A caregiver’s day can be long and demanding, requiring dedication and compassion. This national day of appreciation is also the time to give thanks to family caregivers, who often don’t get paid for their services. If you have a family member who cares for someone you love, National Caregivers Day is about them, too. 

On National Caregivers Day this year, and for years to come, make sure you’re prepared to pay respect to the caregivers in your life. 

When is National Caregivers Day? 

National Caregivers Day falls on the third Friday in February every year. To help you keep track, here are the six upcoming dates for National Caregivers Day: 

  • 2020: February 21
  • 2021: February 19
  • 2022: February 18
  • 2023: February 17
  • 2024: February 16
  • 2025: February 21

What is National Caregivers Day?

National Caregivers Day is an occasion to celebrate and honor those people individuals who help our loved ones live better lives. It especially applies to those caregivers who help our elderly family members who require long-term and hospice care. 

The third Friday of February is the perfect time to show your appreciation to professional caregivers who assist your loved ones. At the same time, it’s a great opportunity to acknowledge the unpaid family caregivers in your life. 

How it got started

The first National Caregivers Day was February 19, 2016. The Providers Association for Home Health and Hospice Agencies (PAHHHA) founded the national day of observance in 2015.

Their goal was to create an annual date for caregivers to receive appreciation and recognition each year. PAHHHA still provides resources to help you thank and support the caregivers in your life. 

How you can celebrate

There are many ways to celebrate National Caregivers Day. The most important part of celebrating this date is showing appreciation and thanks to the caregivers you know. 

You can give gifts and words of gratitude to professional care providers, as well as family caregivers who offer ongoing support.

A family caregiver often puts in long hours taking care of a disabled or elderly loved one, without compensation. You can show them you appreciate their hard work with a small gift, or a simple “thank you.” 

Ideas to Show Your Appreciation on National Caregivers Day

You can show your appreciation to the caregivers in your life every day. Take the time to thank them for what they do and offer support however you can. But on National Caregivers Day, it’s especially important to show gratitude for the people who care for those we love. 

If you want to do something special to show your appreciation on National Caregivers Day, consider the ideas below. 

Post to social media

You can use the hashtag #nationalcaregiversday on social media to share your support. Include a short description of what makes the caregivers in your life so special.  

Write a letter of recognition

Sometimes, a sincere “thank you” is the best gift of all. Write a letter to the caregiver in your life detailing why their work means so much. 

Donate on behalf of a caregiver

In some cases, offering a gift to a professional caregiver might be off-limits. Instead, you can make a donation to a charity in the caregiver’s name.

Choose one that represents and supports the caregiver’s favorite cause. 

Give a gift

You can also give a gift to the caregiver or caregivers in your life to show how much they mean to you. See below for some ideas about what to give as a gift on National Caregivers Day. 

Gift Ideas for National Caregivers Day

You can always give a gift to a family caregiver to show your appreciation. In some instances, as mentioned above, you might not be able to give a gift to a professional caregiver. In those cases, you can write them a letter or make a donation on their behalf instead. 

But if you want to give a gift to the caregiver in your life, and you’re permitted to do so, consider the gift ideas below. 

Massage, manicure, or pedicure

Caregivers spend so much time caring for others that they might rarely experience care themselves.

You can help them feel pampered with a gift certificate for a massage or other spa services. 

Aromatherapy candles or diffuser

Anything that helps a hardworking caregiver relax after a long and stressful day is a great gift idea. 

Aromatherapy candles or an essential oil diffuser can show your appreciation on National Caregivers Day.

Baked goods

Caregivers who work long hours might not have a lot of time to treat themselves to fresh-baked cookies, muffins, or brownies. 

You can give them an extra boost of energy by bringing in some baked goods. An added benefit of this gift is that they can share with their fellow caregivers at work. 

Books for care providers

Give the caregivers in your life the gift of continued learning. Most care providers, both professional and unpaid, are always interested in improving their methods and practices. 

Consider giving a healthcare book or caregiver book on National Caregivers Day, along with a hand-written card. 

Coffee and tea

Another great way to give your caregiver a boost of much-needed energy is with the gift of caffeine. Bring them a fresh-brewed cup of coffee or tea, or put together a basket of your favorite brews. 

Alternatively, you could give relaxing chamomile or peppermint teas for when they’re unwinding after work. 

Hand lotions

Anyone in a medical or service industry knows how dried out your hands can get. Caregivers who work with elderly or immunocompromised individuals have to wash their hands many times a day. 

You can help alleviate that challenge with a nicely-scented and nourishing hand lotion. 

Gift certificate

Treat the caregiver in your life to a dinner at their favorite restaurant or a shopping trip at their favorite store. 

Read our guide on the best gift ideas for caregivers for more inspiration.

Appreciating Caregivers

On National Caregivers Day this year, be sure to take the time to appreciate the professional and family caregivers in your life. The smallest show of gratitude can go a long way for someone who spends their days caring for others. 

If you want to go an extra step further, you can even build caregiver appreciation into your end-of-life plan. You can create a note about caregiver gifts, and even designate a small fund that’s specifically added caregiver support. When you’re elderly, and if you require hospice care, you and your family will already have a designated caregiver support plan. 

But for now, it’s enough to show your support to the caregivers who already provide so much care to those you love. 

If you want to learn more about special days that celebrate advance care planning, read our guide on Long-Term Care Planning Month.


Sources

  1. Providers Association. pahhha.org/
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