Treat yourself and the caregivers you know!
Here are some thoughtful (and affordable) gifts for family caregivers that help to tackle some of the common struggles related to caregiving.
GIFT IDEA #1 THE GIFT OF HELP: Homemade gift certificates/caring coupons from dry cleaning, house-keeping, lawn-care service, a handyman, a professional organizer, you as a personal assistant to run errands or sit with their loved one for an afternoon, home-made prepared and delivered meals...anything to help take care of some of the daily responsibiities for a little while so the caregiver can relax and take care of themselves.
GIFT IDEA #2 THE GIFT OF EDUCATION: Newspaper of magazine subscriptions, self-care books, online newsletters, clubs, coaching, or support services....things to stimulate the mind and create a sense of empowerment, as well as provide a brief escape from daily worries and obligations.
GIFT IDEA #3 THE GIFT OF COMFORT: cozy PJ'S, a soft blanket, soothing tea, essential oils or candles...things to help with stress relief and provide a feeling of security.
GIFT IDEA #4 THE GIFT OF LAUGHTER: funny movies, an album or single framed picture of something great from "back in the day", a joke book...anything that brings a smile or laugh to help ease tension and celebrate the lighter, brighter side of life.
GIFT IDEA #5 THE GIFT OF BRAIN RELEASE: a journal to record highs and lows, lists, dreams, worries, goals...it's proven that getting things out of your brain and out onto paper works wonders for overall health by giving a sense of relief and control.
GIFT IDEA #6 THE GIFT OF QUALITY PERSONAL TIME: puzzles, a camera, craft projects, paint set...anything that provides a creative outlet. There are many proven health benefits from hobbies!
Great for families -
by Jennifer Antkowiak (St. Lynn's Press)
Words are hard to find when there's been a bad diagnosis or a setback in treatment. This is scary and unfamiliar territory for most of us. Conversation can be tough to start when feelings of guilt, worry and fear are swirling around inside. If you or your loved one is dealing with depression or anxiety (which is quite normal during these life passages), you may feel shut out, or like you just can't say anythong right.
Please don't let that stop you from trying (and succeeding) in gathering funny, sad, sweet, suprising snapshots of life.
These questions are perfect for you to use in a caregiver situation, but also great to strengthen family bonds during holiday gatherings this year! Turn off the TV for a little while, and talk to each other! Keep this little book handy and have some fun getting to know each other again.
Sample conversation starters:
Do you remember your first big argument with a special person? What was it about?
What's the one thing I do that drives you crazy?
What's the best thing you ever did for someone?
Caring Questions is only $9.95
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Considered the mother of essential oils, lavender oil is known as the most polular and versatile essential oil. From ancient times, it was used as a perfume, but also as a medicine to treat a number of different ailments.
Today, the oil is steam-distilled from bushy lavender shrubs. Aromatherapists love it for its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory qualities. You can find lavender in teas, lotions, candles, and skin care products. The more lavender is used, the more experts agree that lavender:
calms and relaxes the mind and body
helps to balance body functions
eases headache and migraine pains (Queen Elizabeth I was said to use lavender to treat her migraines)
boosts tissue regeneration (is often used to treat burns and wounds)
cleans cuts, and other skin irritations and promotes faster healing
helps to ease body aches
Lavender is easy to use, you simply have to inhale it to enjoy the calming benefits. You can also:
add 6-10 drops to a warm bath or massage it on your skin before a warm shower for relaxation.
add a drop or two to your pillow to promote quality sleep.
massage into feet for a feeling of calmness and balance
A word of caution: Essential Oils are thought to be safe for adults and children. They will cause stinging or burning if they come in contact with the eyes or mucus membranes, however, so keep out of eyes, and take care to wash your hands after use. Also, as with all treatments, if pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult with a healthcare practitioner prior to use.
>See lavender products