‘Tis the season for giving! Home caregivers give the gift of caring all year round, but might want to do a little something special for their clients over the holidays. Gift giving etiquette for home caregivers is wise to follow, since many home care agencies have policies on whether or not home caregivers can give and receive gifts with clients and other staff members. There is also timing, religious affiliations, and health limitations to consider.
Home Care Tips: Give Wisely and with Care
The following home care tips will provide some guidance around gift giving etiquette for home caregivers during the holidays. With these tips in mind, gift giving can be a fun and joyous experience.
Check the policies of your home care agency.
Some home care agencies have rules around giving gifts to clients. There can also be limits for caregivers accepting gifts from clients. Usually these policies are in place to create safe boundaries and prevent excessive gift giving. It can also be a way of preventing elder abuse, since people can take advantage of generous seniors who may wish to gift large sums of money without realizing the financial harm it would put them in. There might be policies in place even when it comes to gifts with other staff members, such as spending limits. This is a way to maintain equality and to keep people from playing favorites. If you’re a home caregiver, check the policies of your home care agency before you decide to give or receive a gift.
Make sure the gift is safe.
Home caregivers may be aware of their medical needs of their clients during day-to-day activities, but it can be easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of holiday shopping and overlook things that might be potentially harmful to someone with a medical condition. For example, sweet treats should be avoided with clients who are diabetic. If you are working with a senior who has dementia, there could be all sorts of hazards to consider. Always remember to be extra mindful when choosing gifts for clients, to ensure that the gift is appropriate and safe.
Set reasonable expectations.
Even if you have a good rapport and close relationship with a client, it is still wise to give just a moderate gift. Resist the urge to be lavish — if you set that precedent, the client might come to expect it each year. Clients may also think that they have done something wrong if they receive a lavish gift one year and a moderate gift the next. Stay within a reasonable price range and aim for sentimentality over luxury.
When giving gifts to clients or other home caregivers and staff members, remember to give equally so that no one feels left out. Even if your clients are not in contact with one another, there is a chance that their family members, friends, etc. may know each other or may run into each other at some point. It’s always best to prevent issues like favoritism from occurring, so do your best to give equally across the board.
This one may seem obvious and yet many people get stressed out by the pressures of gift giving during the holidays. It’s best when gift giving can be a joyful experience, both for the one receiving the gift and the one giving it. People sometimes also stress about getting the right gift, but remember that it truly is the thought that counts. So have fun! Be creative! A small and inexpensive yet thoughtful gift may be all that’s needed to brighten someone’s day.
While Christmas may be the most popular celebration during the American holiday season, other religious holidays are just as important. If your clients celebrate Hanukkah but you only focus on Christmas, it is understandable that they may feel hurt or offended. If you’re not sure how to celebrate a holiday appropriately, take it as an opportunity to ask clients what their religious holidays are about and what the customs are. These can be great conversation starters and can also be a trip down memory lane, which is especially beneficial for seniors.
The Benefits of Home Care Services
The gift of receiving care within the comfort of one’s own home is one of the best gifts of all for seniors and people with disabilities. Home care services help provide a sense of grace and dignity to aging. If you or a loved one are looking for a professional caregiver, reach out to Alegre Home Care. All of our home caregivers receive continuous training and provide community-based, quality care.