Many of us will be considering thoughtful gift ideas for caregivers soon – and for good reason. Caregivers love our family as much as we do.
But, caregiving is hard work and oftentimes stressful!
So, caregivers deserve a heartfelt and thoughtful gift. Something that shows you’ve put effort into choosing it just for them.
So how do you go about choosing the very best gift for a caregiver?
I will show you!
But, first, if you’re in a hurry and looking for the best budget-friendly gift for a caregiver, see the list right below.
Best Inexpensive Gifts for Caregivers
A super popular gift that is always well received is the Willow Tree Angel Statue (image below- #pd link). I think it’s the perfect caregiver appreciation gift!
Another popular caregiver gift (under $10) is this Burt’s Bee’s Gift Set (image below #pd link) :
Other great affordable caregiver gift ideas (under $10) include:
- Beautiful Hand-crafted Gold Bookmark (#pd link)
- 5-minute Gratitude Journal (#pd link)
- Amish Popcorn (#pd link)
Best Thank You Gift Ideas for Caregivers
Now, just below this paragraph is a detailed list of unusual, practical, fun, and appreciative caregiver gift ideas to get you thinking.
You might even find the perfect caregiver gift here!
I have listed numerous unique caregiver gift suggestions throughout this post based on my nursing experience and research.
However, here is a quick link table of contents for your convenience. (Or, you can hide it if you prefer.)
How to Choose a Gift for a Caregiver
Here are a few things to consider when buying a gift for a caretaker.
- The gift should represent a token of your genuine thanks and appreciation.
- It should be a gift that matches the caregiver’s personality, hobbies, or lifestyle.
- Look for a gift that they will enjoy receiving, using, and perhaps even keeping for a long time.
- It’s great to think of buying a gift for a caregiver during holidays, during the Christmas season, and on birthdays, but also know it’s perfectly fine to spoil your caregiver with appreciation gifts anytime!
Sometimes, especially if you’re buying gifts for caregivers of the elderly, a heartfelt gift can also fill an unspoken need. The best way to do that is to consider something that ‘fills their cup‘.
Caregiving is stressful and if you can give them extra minutes of joy or ‘me-time,’ your gift will surely be utilized.
The Best Caregiver Gifts Include Breaks From Caregiving Duties
First off, more than anything else, regular breaks or time away may be THE most treasured gift for a caregiver.
As I mentioned, caregiving is stressful.
If you have close friends or family members who are providing care, perhaps the best gift for the caregiver would be a break from their caregiving duties. Here are some ideas:
- Send them out to lunch (#pd link) with a friend or on your dime
- Lead them to a quiet room with a relaxing book (#pd link) and maybe even time for a much-needed nap.
- Or, perhaps you would prefer to bring a coffee, treat, (#pd links) or hot meal to share.
It may be that the most precious gift is the gift that costs the very least.
Caregiving can also be lonely, and taking time to sit and visit is priceless to the caregiver. Even
If they refuse, offer to drive them somewhere, to be with them, or do the mundane task alongside them. Hug them. Listen to them.
Distraction (through interaction) is also another way to give a caregiver a break.
Best Gifts for Male Caregivers
I’ll start with what I think is the best male caregiver gift – just because this doesn’t really go into another category – but there are more male caregivers than you would expect so I didn’t want to exclude it.
Here’s an idea that’s sure to be a BIG hit – especially if you’re looking for a non-flower gift and you don’t think a care package is best: A beef jerky flower bouquet in a glass (#pd link).
Support The Caregiver with Care Packages
Caregiving is always in a state of change and can easily deplete energy.
Plus, caregivers often do not eat full meals because they don’t have a lot of time for themselves. So, creating a care package for a caregiver might be right on target.
These can be great caregiver gift ideas for special events or holidays, or when there are unusual circumstances like when you’re looking for:
- Hospital care packages for a caregiver
- Hospital boredom kits
- Non-flower gifts for hospital patients
- Gifts for male caregivers
The thing is, you do not have to fill a big gift basket.
Just one beautifully packaged (#pd link -image below) or wrapped gift will be appreciated – because it shows you thought of them.
Best Caregiver Care Packages for Self-care
Many caregivers put their self-care on hold while they care for others. You can support their self-care through your gift because caregivers need help with focusing on their own needs.
Self-care is about taking time away from doing for others and pouring into yourself so you can relax and manage stress.
For some caregivers, self-care is very simple:
- It’s enjoying their favorite snack and watching their favorite show
- Or, it’s just taking a nap
- Doing a crossword puzzle
- Taking a 5-minute coffee break
Here are some simple self-care gift ideas for your caregiver:
- A quick and easy power snack, like nuts (#pd link), can be just the thing to get the caregiver through the rest of their day.
- This snack (#pd link) is not only delicious but made in a food manufacturing plant that is free of the top seven food allergens.
Bags of snack foods like these are perfect for a care package for a caregiver. They’re inexpensive, so you can even consider several options or get them a different bag of nutritious snacks every month!
Best Spa-Day Caregiver Care Package
For other caregivers, self-care needs to be longer – and almost feel like going to a spa. Here are some ideas for the majority – who need more than 5-minutes to wind down.
You could grab a beautiful pre-made spa-gift basket (#pd link – image above).
Or, create a care package yourself.
Best Spa-Day Caregiver Care Package Ideas:
- Sleep mask (#pd link)
- Super-soft throw blanket (#pd link – image above)
- Comfy pajamas
- Dark chocolate (#pd link)
- A gift card to their favorite beauty (#pd link), grocery, or drug store
- A massage gift card (most caregivers would NEVER buy one for themselves!)
- A heating pad (#pd link)
- Sampler boxes of energizing or relaxing teas (#pd link) This is a fun gift to receive. Sample different flavors like a box of chocolates without the sugar and calories! (One of my favorite gifts!)
- Offers to cover their caregiving duties (doing it yourself, finding trusted volunteers, or hiring help) so the caregiver can be away for their necessary wellness checks and preventative care.
Best Comforting Gifts to Pamper Your Caregiver
A night of good sleep is a necessity for a caregiver. But sometimes it’s hard to let go of the day’s challenges and relax enough to go to sleep (#pd link – image above).
Others may prefer a diffuser and essential oil. (#pd link)
A long day of caregiving deserves a moment for pampering. Or at least something to help de-stress and relax.
Caregivers don’t sit down long, but they may appreciate a chair massager (#pd link) to help loosen tension and tight muscles.
Soaking in the tub with these bath bombs may be the best home ‘spa day’ gifts – especially for caregivers that can’t get away. (#pd link above)
In contrast, if a ‘bath’ isn’t a good fit for your caregiver, perhaps pampering hardworking hands and feet is a better fit. (#paid link – image above)
Best Gift Baskets for Caregivers
There are times when a gift basket for your caregiver is a perfect idea.
Sometimes, you want a pre-made gift basket for your caregiver. Cravebox (#pd link – image above) makes some great gift baskets.
And Wine-Country Gift Baskets (#pd link – image above) are also a great option.
Other times, you might want to make one yourself. But, be sure to keep it simple!
Here’s how to make a caregiver gift basket the easy way:
- Start by picking a theme.
- A set theme helps make it easier to come up with ideas, but just about anything (big or small) can work in a gift basket.
- PRO TIP: sometimes it helps to buy the items before you buy the empty basket (#pd link).
Here are some ideas to put in the homemade caregiver gift basket:
- Multiple pampering items like a foot spa (#pd link), pedicure supplies, a gift card for a pedicure, warm fuzzy socks (#pd link), lotion (#pd link), and a gift card to a shoe store.
- Snack & Movies – pack in their favorite snacks, mix in some healthy options (like popcorn, dried fruit, salsa), add their favorite drink (coke, sparkling water, juice, etc.), and include some uplifting DVDs or a membership to Amazon Prime Video (#pd link).
- Quiet – noise-canceling headphones or earplugs (#pd link), soft slippers, bubble bath, soft fluffy towels, hot chocolate and marshmallows, a beautiful mug, a good book.
- Hair – their favorite hair products and a gift card for hair services.
- Hobby basket – fill the basket with accessories that can be used for their hobby when they have a few free minutes.
- Holiday basket – New Years, Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Mother & Father’s Day, Memorial Day and summer holidays, birthday, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and religious holidays like Easter and Christmas are all great themes for caregiver gift baskets.
The Best Caregiver Gifts Can Offer Convenience
Sometimes items that bring convenience to the caregiver can make the perfect gift.
Caregivers need to stay organized.
Best Caregiver Gifts and Tools to Make Life Easier
Pre-paying for a maid service is a helpful and appreciated convenience. Even a one-time gift is a huge blessing!
Some caregivers would love someone to do it all, while others would love a break from the bending and lifting of specific cleaning jobs.
Others would benefit from not having to push a heavy vacuum.
The day has finally come when robot vacuums have become more affordable. I highly recommend the Roborock E4 Robot Vacuum Cleaner (#pd link – image above) after using it for several months. It’s easy to use, has a smart phone app, and does a great job so the caregiver can focus on other things in the home.
If it’s getting more difficult for the caregiver to leave home, an Amazon Prime Membership (#pd link) is a going to offer hours of entertainment and education.
For the caregiver that enjoys reading, a Kindle Paperwhite (#pd link) coupled with the Kindle Unlimited Membership (#pd links) provides the convenience of borrowing or buying as many books as desired without having to keep track of them, carry them around, or take them back to the library.
Best Gifts and Tools That Aide With Caregiving Duties
If you have the opportunity to listen to the caregiver talk on a regular basis, you’ll hear where their struggles exist.
Inexpensive caregiver aides (coupled with thoughtful personal gifts) can provide ways to make the caregiver’s job easier. These are thoughtful and extremely beneficial gifts for caregivers of the elderly.
Something simple like a whiteboard (#pd link) can be helpful and time-saving (the caregiver can write information on the whiteboard which may reduce the number of questions from the one being cared for).
A notebook or caregiver logbook (#pd link – image above) can be helpful if the caregiver mentions they are forgetting when something has last been done. I liked this one because it not only has places to mark care has been completed, but it provides a place to rate comfort and happiness outcomes.
A pill dispenser (#pd link) can be helpful if the caregiver mentions they struggle with keeping track of dispensing medication.
Best Caregiver Gifts That Help Caregiver & Loved-One
A medical binder (#pd link – image above) can be useful to store medical information about the caregiver’s medical history or the loved-one’s. It can be easily grabbed when going to the doctor’s or in an emergency.
Finally, gift cards to cover the cost of the above or the following list will probably never be requested, but would surely be an appreciated gift:
- Respite care (sometimes called a sitter) from a home health agency or private duty home service
- Medical equipment store
- Food delivery service: like Doordash, Grubhub, etc.
- Transporation services
How to Assist Caregivers with Transportation
Depending on the patient’s age, condition, and level of care you can help the caregiver by:
- Transporting the patient to a clinic or treatment service
- Sitting with the patient during the visit or treatment
- Watching children or pets while a visit out of the home is occurring
If the caregiver is younger and has a family, keeping life as regular as possible means keeping children involved in their activities. But getting them there can be challenging.
Other ways to help with transportation include:
- Offer to transport children to school or school events
- Assist with transportation to extra-curricular activities
Best Gifts that Bring Happiness, Pleasure & Joy to Caregivers
While you can’t change the situation, you can make the situation more pleasurable. Here are some ideas to bring a smile to the face of any caregiver.
This is a great way to match a gift to their personality or lifestyle!
Best Gifts for Caregivers Who Love Writing, Art, Knick Knacks, or Items of Whimsy
Perhaps your caregiver sees the beauty in the little things. Gratitude rises from the colors of a flower or the notes of a bird.
For some, writing these things down can cultivate an attitude of joy or self-discovery to help them get through the harder days. Gratitude journals (#pd link) are a good fit for those who like to write but don’t have a lot of time to write. (#paid links – image above)
Sometimes a ‘cute or pretty’ mug (#pd link – image below) says it all.
Family members often say that their caregivers are like their angels (#pd link – image below). And, sometimes our family members are angels to serve as the caregiver.
The two gift ideas above can be a daily reminder of how much your caregiver is loved and appreciated. Especially if coupled with a beautiful, hand-written note of gratitude.
Anything personalized is also a safe bet for caregivers who like artful whimsy.
Is your caregiver a dreamer? How about a lotto ticket?
Best Humorous Gifts for Caregivers
Caregivers will get it done.
But some caregivers almost ‘own it’, hence their caregiving role infuses into everything – even their sense of humor.
Perhaps this funny slogan shirt (#pd link – image above) which comes in purple, blue or black, will be the perfect gift.
Or, one with a softer touch and a hint of Friends.
Best Christmas and Holiday Gifts for Caregivers
Speaking of Christmas, another thoughtful Christmas or holiday gift for caregivers may include a gift card that allows the caregiver to Christmas shop (#pd link) (budget, travel, and guilt-free) for their family.
A caregiver might also enjoy a gift basket of Christmas decorations, and possibly help with the decorating.
Holiday decorations can brighten the mood of everyone in the home.
If you’re looking for a Christmas gift for a caregiver, any of the ideas on this page will work!
To help you remember, here’s an infographic to save your Pinterest board.
Best Gifts for Caregivers in a Health Crisis (illness, surgery, or accident)
In many cases, families going through a health crisis are trying to keep their home life as regular as possible. The expectation is to return to some level of pre-diagnosis of life eventually.
But, these new caregivers may be struggling with a variety of different issues. Therefore, best gifts for caregivers could be unique in that they help with these struggles:
- Paying hospital and medical-related bills
- Providing encouragement to those worried about being able to go back to work
- Praying for those who are fearful of worsening disease
- Support of a meal-train for those having difficulty adjusting to the changes and keeping up with meal preparation and normal house-keeping and family duties
And now, hospitalizations related to COVID are a new cause of a health crisis. (All of the suggestions for cancer caregivers below will also be appropriate gift suggestions for COVID caregivers as they adjust to their situation.)
How to Do a Meal-train – Great Gifts for Caregivers
One of the most organized meal trains I’ve ever seen included this process:
- An online meal train sign-up tool.
- A cooler set upon a porch at a designated drop-off home with a designated drop-off time so a designated friend could bring the cooler to the caregiver’s home/front porch at a specific time (so the immune-resistant patient didn’t get exposed to multiple people).
- Provide a list of suggestions for snacks, desserts, and meals (with favorite recipes & grocery lists), as well as food allergies and likes or favorites. To keep it simple, include a small list of ‘food we love to eat’ and ‘please do not include these food items.’
- And a request to use disposable containers (so dishes didn’t need to be returned)
- The family’s favorite restaurants and treat establishments were also listed so friends could help with an additional meal through a gift card.
The meal delivery started out at every day, then decreased over several months (went to every other day, then 2-3 times a week) except during chemo weeks when it returned to every day.
Best Gifts for Caregivers of Cancer Patients
The suggestions above can undoubtedly work for caregivers of cancer patients and those taking care of people who are experiencing a health-related crisis.
But, unlike slowly developing conditions related to aging or the elderly, some conditions arrive more suddenly.
These situations can occur more often in younger-aged people.
In these instances, like with a cancer diagnosis, spouses may become caregivers overnight.
Caregiver care packages can be helpful and can include a variety of items (see above).
In these scenarios, coordination of care or services is a precious gift to caregivers.
Some suggestions include:
- Meal trains (and restaurant/take out gift cards) see how-to above in health crisis section
- Transportation to treatment
- Transportation of children to school or events
- House-keeping and laundry
- Running errands
- Prayer and faith support
Monetary gift cards can also help in these instances if you do not feel comfortable asking about their financial issues.
Many family members and caregivers have told me receiving financial help with car payments, groceries, take-out, home repairs, or utilities (by paying them for a month or two) were priceless gifts as well as acts of kindness.
Best Gifts for the Spouse of a Cancer Patient
In the instance above, a list of the caregivers’ (usually the spouse’s) favorite snacks and treats was also provided so people could put together a care package for the cancer patient’s caregiver.
I thought adding this list was particularly thoughtful! Plus, I can see how it would be easy to add small comfort items like:
- Repairing hand cream (to counter lots of handwashing)
- A nice shaving cream (for men)
- A favorite baked item, treat, or dessert
- Lipbalm (a rarely mentioned, but a treasured gift)
- Candles or hobby-specific gift cards, etc., to pamper the spouse a little bit
Best Caregiver Gifts for Assisted Living Facility and Nursing Home Staff
In some cases, there may be multiple caregivers. This may happen when a loved one is receiving care at a type of caregiving facility.
Showing appreciation to every special caregiver may be cost-prohibitive.
But, thankfully, whether you’re buying gifts for caregivers in an assisted living or extended care facility, nursing home, or even a hospital or clinic, the same concept can apply.
The best-received assisted living facility gifts are personalized and sharable.
Examples of gift ideas for caregivers in an assisted living facility or nursing home include:
- A hand-written card (#pd link) personally thanking each special caregiver by name combined with a basket of packaged favorite local food treats*.
- A large box of chocolates (#pd link – image above).
- A tower of snacks (#pd link) is always a success.
- Another idea might be giving each individual caregiver a card with a kind note of gratitude along with tickets to a local event (like a matinée movie or play).
- I’ve also received a thank you card with a $5 gift card to a local coffee shop and another person gave me a card with a $5 gift card to a local ice cream shop.
- Handmade crafts and other non-food items.
I’ve been on the receiving end of all of these, and all were wonderful gifts to receive!
(*I would not recommend making the food yourself in this instance due to food allergies and possible local food laws or guidelines.)
Best Gifts for Caregivers of Alzheimer’s Patients
Caregiving for people with Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) can apresent unique challenges.
Due to the nature of AD, caregiving changes and becomes more difficult as the disease progresses. Meaningful gifts can make the caregiver’s life easier – through:
- Stress relief
- Happy memories
As mentioned above, the gift of a break from caregiving is always going to be needed (even if not requested).
In the early stages of Alzheimer’s Disease, a gift to help the caregiver remind the loved-one will be a welcome gift because caregivers answer the same question over and over.
Coupling a reminder gift:
- Tabletop erasable whiteboards (#pd link) and markers
- Memory clocks with date and time (#pd link – image above)
- Calendars with family birthdays and events already filled-out
- A label machine so labels can be placed on drawers, baskets or cabinets
…with a gift card for a getaway or break (pedicure, coffee-date, movie tickets) can serve the caregiver’s needs beautifully.
In the later stages of Alzheimer’s Disease, caregiving becomes more time-consuming.
Gifts that help the caregiver keep up with everything are a welcome gift to receive.
Again, a break from caregiving is also welcomed in most cases. Other ideas:
- House cleaning, maintenance, maid service, errands, or gift cards for these
- Dry cleaning pick up or gift cards
- Computer or technical support gift card
- Home-cooked meals, fast-food restaurant or coffee gift cards are helpful because the caregiver doesn’t have a lot of time to cook
Best Gift for Caregiver After Death of Loved-One
Caregivers feel the loss and grief after they lose the person they’ve taken care of – no matter how short the time of caregiving.
Providing care to someone is a personal and almost intimate experience. It would be a mistake to assume the death of that special person did not affect the caregiver.
Thoughtful gifts provide appreciation and a personalized touch.
- A beautiful card (#pd link – image above) with a handwritten note – or if appropriate a prayer – is helpful to the caregiver experiencing grief.
- Another thoughtful touch is a copy of a framed (#pd link) photograph of the patient and caregiver together.
- Or, a framed picture or small album (#pd link) with pictures of whom the caregiver provided care.
- Items that were important to the deceased may be more meaningful than a purchased gift.
- A special necklace, stuffed animal, or item on a dresser like a ring holder, statue, or other personal items may be a special gift (as long as all other family members approve!).
Showing Genuine Appreciation For Your Caregiver is the Best Gift
In closing, it only takes a few quick minutes to match the perfect gift to your caregiver.
As a result, the recipient of your gift will not only know you think of them but how much you love and appreciate what they do for your loved one every day!
Caregiving is truly rewarding, but at the same time stressful, lonely, and isolating.
Hug your caregiver. Love on them.
Gift-giving with careful selection is a great way to show caregivers your appreciation and encourage them to take good care of themselves as they care for the people you love.
FREE Self-care Starter Guide for Caregivers
And finally, if self-care is a struggle for the caregiver, perhaps my FREE Self-care Starter Guide would be the perfect gift idea (or maybe even the perfect gift for you!).
Written by Lisa Kimrey, RN. Updated 4/25/22. The original content was written on 1/23/19.
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- Best Gifts for Caregivers: 2022 Ultimate Gift Guide
- 5 Top Reasons You Will Fail at Self-Care
Hi, I’m Lisa! Thanks for visiting My Life Nurse, where we provide people who serve and take care of others with easy self-care plans and systems, wellness strategies, and scripture-based encouragement so you can stay happy, healthy and rejuvenated. I’ve found that many people struggle with caring for themselves while taking care of others, but they also feel called to serve others, so they keep working even when they’re stressed and exhausted. That’s why I combine my nursing expertise with Scripture-based teaching. Our readers love learning how to walk closer to the Lord to improve their self-care – so they can begin their journey to feel better – without feeling guilty. Be sure to grab your FREE Self-care StarTer Guide!