Cleo, a caregiver for a 100-year-old bed-ridden client with dementia, brought in a dazzling Christmas tree. Lights danced in our client’s eyes; a smile in remembrance of holidays past softened her face.
Myra worked with one of our traumatic brain injury clients. Festive clothing, special jewelry and even sparkly makeup helped this client feel ready for celebrating the holidays.
Another caregiver sang carols and held a lonely hand. Although the client wasn’t able to respond, those gifts surely made a difference.
Gift giving does not have to be expensive, tiresome or obligatory. The gift of time does not require quantity — just focused attention during the minutes shared. The gift of a smile costs nothing, but can reconnect the humanity often lost in caregiving. A shared treat, movie or outing — simple things that are sidelined by life and caregiving — are gifts to be given, received and enjoyed immediately. Whatever you chose to share with a person needing care, remember that the greatest gift you can give is your presence.