With Thanksgiving in the rear-view mirror, many of us will now turn our focus towards buying gifts. I’m one of many adult children that live far from my family. Because of this distance, visits have become sparse, and I know less and less about their worldly possessions and interests. Consequently, buying the right gifts has become a guessing game.
Since I’m always on a strict budget, the thought of buying the wrong gifts drives me crazy. The easy solution is a gift card but these always seem so impersonal. Giving that personable gift from afar has become a challenge but it doesn't have to be.
While all of us, including our parents, love to receive gifts, don’t they always tell us how special our phone calls are to them? They’re not just making this up – these talks are more important to them than anything we can buy. And for those of us who have our own children, isn't it their gestures of love that mean the most to us?
The same is true for our friends who are caring for someone with unique needs such as Alzheimer’s, autism, or maybe a mobility difficulty. The more time these caregivers commit to their loved ones, the more their family and friends withdraw from their lives. As their social circles shrink, what they want and need the most is to know that people care about them. They don’t want some shiny object or gift card; they want someone to talk to. They want someone to stop by the house and show them that they are important.
So this holiday season, stop worrying about what present to buy, and pick up the phone and call someone who needs to hear from you. Why wait? Do it now. If they live nearby, tell them you want to stop by or take them to lunch. Don’t wait until the pressures of Christmas reduce the sincerity. Be a friend today and give the gift of love to a caregiver!
About the Author: Mike Good is founder of http://togetherinthis.com/ an online resource helping family members caring for someone with Alzheimer’s. Through short, informative articles and easy-to-use tools, such as the Introductory Guide to Alzheimer’s, http://togetherinthis.com/introguide1/, he helps them take control and have peace-of-mind they are doing the right things.
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