Need the best gift ideas for male caregivers? Gifts men will actually appreciate and use? You have come to the right place!
It might be a surprise to know that there are male caregivers. But, guess what, it’s true! So, it makes sense to have a handy list of the best gift ideas for male caregivers in your life.
Although, I’m guessing that you don’t have time – or ideas – to make a list.
That’s why I have a FREE list available for you to download!
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A few years ago, when I worked as a nurse providing home health care services, it was not unusual to visit homes where the caregiver was a man.
It was encouraging to learn that most men are very concerned about doing a good job as a caregiver. I also learned how much they appreciate any help from others or thoughtful gifts to make their caregiving day easier.
Male caregivers are providing unpaid care to a variety of their family members.
According to one resource:
A large percentage of caregivers are caring for a parent or parent-in-law (49%), while one in 10 (10%) is providing care for a spouse.AARP 2015 Report
Men can be excellent caregivers.
A recent conversation with my dad, who is the caregiver for both my mom (who has health and memory problems) and my brother (who is recovering from a severe leg injury), gave me some great ideas gift and service ideas.
Best Gift Ideas for Male Caregivers
I do not live close to my parents, so I give my caregiving help from a distance most of the time. I do a lot of coordination of care and provide assistance with healthcare system navigation. But, I also help in other ways.
One day, to get a better feel for what would be most helpful to my dad, I just straight out asked him. “Dad, what are the things that people do or bring (gift) to you that are either the most helpful or most meaningful to you? Please be as honest as possible!”
Probably not surprising, a mix of both services and products have been the biggest help and has also been most appreciated.
Because caregiving is extremely stressful! Anything to reduce the stress of caregiving is a welcome gift.
Services that Make the Best Gift Ideas for Male Caregivers
Some of the services that have helped my dad (actually both of my parents) have been services provided by friends and volunteers. But, we’ve also hired some of these services when necessary.
Transportation has been a big help to them. While my dad can drive short distances, he gets tired driving long distances (he has had a stroke).
Rides to the correct entrance at the university hospital (with very large parking lots), doctor appointments, therapy visits, and various procedures have been priceless to them.
Several years ago my mom received chemotherapy treatments and my dad went to outpatient rehab. Friends drove them to some of those visits and that was very encouraging to both of my parents.
I’ve also learned this to be true from talking with patients throughout my nursing career. Driving to medical appointments is stressful for many people.
Another highly valued service has been housekeeping. We were lucky to have a cousin who has her own housekeeping business (and she had an opening!) so I hired her services for my parents once a month (for now).
If you do not know of someone personally, I have found housekeepers on Care.com. They have a free and a premium option.
The premium option allows you to search their database, seek references and compare.
The free version allows you to post a job so people can email a bid to you. I would recommend using the free version to try it and if you think you’ll use it for a while, purchase the premium plan to get the greatest value – and the best information to make decisions.
While not a service my dad needs right now, a gift of respite care or a hired caregiver may be appreciated by some. Care.com would be a great resource for this too.
Depending on their living arrangement, help with outside projects may be a good idea.
My dad mows the lawn and works in the yard for respite so we don’t hire this out for him. But for some male caregivers, lawn services would be a great idea.
During the fall my family has hired people to clean out their gutters or rake leaves (and pinecones). But my dad prefers to do his own clean out of his garden and flower beds.
And during the winter, neighbors have helped my parents by shoveling (or snow blowing) snow off of the driveway and sidewalks.
Products that Make the Best Ideas for Male Caregivers
My dad is a great baker and cook, but he still appreciates a homemade meal or dessert once in a while. Especially something like the good ‘ole comfort food he grew up on.
So if the male caregiver in your life is NOT a good cook or baker, this may be the most precious gift of all to him.
Cooking a meal or dessert for someone else is no small feat. So make it easier on yourself (and the caregiver).
First, send everything in sturdy, but disposable dishes so they don’t have to worry about returning them to you (unless you want to make another visit to pick them up – which is okay too!).
And second, use this casserole transporter to keep everything organized – and keep your car clean. If you’ve ever taken a meal to someone, you know how embarrassing it is if you have to throw everything into a cardboard box or have a mess of chili all over the outside of the dish.
Obviously, gift cards for any of the services mentioned above will be helpful.
Some of the best gift cards are either going to be very practical – things to help pay for basics the family uses every day or a fun splurge.
Restaurant gift cards are definitely appreciated. But it may not be used as how you think.
If it’s easy for everyone to get out of the house and sit at a booth or table in public, a sitdown restaurant card might be nice. These kinds of cards give the caregiver a chance to get out of the house, get a night off from cooking and a night away from KP duty.
And of course, it might be fun for them to go out just for a treat. Ice cream, coffee, or even a donut might be a perfect gift!
Visa cards, grocery store cards or debit cards are helpful because it is practical and useful. It’s fun to occasionally splurge on a steak or something extra.
Family caregivers have to spend so much money on medications, doctor bills, treatments, therapies, etc that gift cards for everyday things really help and can be used for something fun once in a while.
Finally, my dad stated gift cards to home improvement stores were extremely helpful. “Something always needs fixing so I’m bound to use it sooner or later”.
The Best Ideas for Male Caregivers are the Ones that Show You Care About Them
As I was talking longer to my dad about all of this, he eventually said that
It’s the personal visits & phone calls that help the most. It can get lonely and we aren’t getting out like we used to do.
A simple trip to the grocery store or gas station used to mean you’d to run into old friends where you just stand and talk for 30 minutes to get caught up on things.
But, those trips aren’t simple anymore, so they are fewer and farther between. So, a short and simple visit to the house or a phone call is always welcome. In fact it’s a treasure.
In closing, the best ideas for male caregivers don’t have to be super flashy or trendy.
They don’t have to be expensive.
In the end, the ideas that are a little bit practical, and just a little bit fun produce the right combination to make a male caregiver’s day – and life – a little easier.