The first Tuesday of every April is when Canada celebrates National Family Caregiver Day, which is an annual event. When you’re a family caregiver providing care to someone you also often interact with a team of health care professionals on a regular basis. You know firsthand how difficult their job can be, and you can appreciate everything they do to help you and the person in your care. They help you manage caring for another person and can allow you to find a work-life balance.
Simply saying “thank-you” goes a long way to brighten the day of your health care team.
Did you know that there are also special days and weeks during the year that celebrate members of the health care team? During these special recognition days, you may wish to express your appreciation with thank you notes, a letter, or cards to show your health care team how much you really appreciate the care they provide.
Health Canada’s Calendar of Health Promotion Days can help you keep track of the “health-related awareness days, weeks and months that have been announced by recognized health organizations and are recognized throughout the health professional community.”
Elizz Caregiving offers the following simple ideas for thanking your health care team:
Homemade thank-you gifts
Depending on how crafty you are, a homemade thank-you gift can be a thoughtful and personalized way to thank your care team. Knitted items or a homemade decorative ornament are often well-received. Get creative! There are many homemade projects that can make special gifts for your health care team.
Maybe you’re not the creative one in your family; arts and crafts created by your child may be another way to show appreciation to your health care team from the whole family.
Baked goods, or homemade meals also fall under the “homemade” gifts category. Every health care professional can appreciate some freshly baked cookies, or a warm lunch!
Thanks a latte - coffee or tea
Treat a member of your health care team to a coffee or tea break. Health care professionals often work long hours, and a warm beverage is an especially nice break during cold winter days. You can either purchase individual packets of tea, coffee or hot chocolate; or you can get them a gift card to the local coffee or tea shop.
Care package gift ideas
If you’re feeling a bit more ambitious, you can put together a care package. This may consist of a healthy (or not!) treat, some gum, a mini hand sanitizer or hand lotion, lip balm, and maybe a puzzle book. The contents of the care package are really up to you. The idea is that the care package gift is filled with some small, but useful, items to help your health care provider feel appreciated throughout their busy day.
Handwritten thank-you note
A handwritten thank-you note expressing your appreciation for all that your health care team has done is an easy way to genuinely say thank-you.
Along with an appreciation letter you may even want to take the time to contact their manager or supervisor to let them know just how great a job your health care team is doing. If you have been particularly happy with the care they’ve provided, or they did something beyond their job requirements to help you and the person in your care, why not recognize their excellent work and let their manager know.
Charitable donation gifts
Making a donation in the name of your health care team is another way to show appreciation. You may be able to find out which charity or cause is special to your health care team.
Depending on your health care team, their employer may already have a system in place for making charitable donations.
For example, Saint Elizabeth, the parent company of Elizz, has a program called “Gift from the Heart.” This is a program where you are able to express your gratitude, to a Saint Elizabeth or Elizz staff member who provided exceptional care, by making a donation to the Saint Elizabeth Foundation.
When you donate to the foundation through the Gift from the Heart program, the staff member you select to recognize will be notified and will receive a special lapel pin.
Making a charitable donation in the name of your health care team is a gift you can both feel good about.
It’s important to keep in mind, that although you may wish to give a health care professional a small gift to show appreciation, many employers have policies in place that restrict their employees from receiving gifts from patients. Look into any such policies before deciding on how you wish to proceed in thanking your health care team.
As a busy family caregiver, you probably don’t have much extra time or energy to spend thinking about shopping. Health care professionals aren’t expecting anything from their colleagues or patients, so never feel as if you have to give thank you gifts at any time.
If you decide that you would like to show appreciation to a member of your health care team, keep in mind that the best thank you gifts often don’t cost you a penny. Simply saying “thank-you” goes a long way to brighten the day of your health care team.
You might also like our Elizz article on Partnering with Health Care Professionals.
At Elizz, we provide caregiver support for you and home care services for those who depend on you. Elizz is a Canadian company powered by Saint Elizabeth, a national not-for-profit health care organization that has been caring for Canadians since 1908.