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JourneyCare frontline staff offer holiday gift ideas to support caregivers and those who are grieving

With messages of joy and cheer seemingly everywhere, the holidays can be especially difficult for those who are grieving or caring for a loved one with serious illness.It’s not always easy to know how to include them in holiday traditions while still being sensitive to their feelings. That’s why our JourneyCare staff that works on the frontlines with our hospice and palliative care patients and their families are sharing gift ideas that they have seen brighten spirits first-hand.

So, this holiday, explore this gift guide that mixes the material and hands-on gifts, both practical and personal, to help those who need seasonal cheer more than ever – your support can mean the world!

 


MEGAN ANDRIANO, BEREAVEMENT SERVICES MANAGER

“We lost a family member a few months ago and these were some things done for our us that really made such an impact:”

Electronic gift cards for food and favorite treats: “These can be given simply with your loved one’s mobile phone number or email. No wait time for mail delivery and they are way easier to actually use when received verses the physical gift cards.”

Meal delivery services: “You can email or text someone a gift card electronically for a services like DoorDash, Grubhub or UberEats, so they can order a meal of their choice to be delivered. Additionally, some local Chicago favorites like Lou Malnati’s and Portillo’s ship throughout the country.”

Hydration: “A caregiver is truly giving all of themselves to their loved one and it’s not uncommon for their selfcare to take a backseat. Staying hydrated is such an important piece of health. Give them a beautiful new water bottle, or even a big one they don’t have to worry about refilling throughout the day.”

Household Chores: “Help your caregiving loved one with household and yard chores, such as mowing the lawn, raking leaves, shoveling snow and house cleaning. If you’re not able to assist in the hands-on work, help to find and hire someone who can. When you go grocery shopping; text them the day before to see what they need.”

R&R: “If you’re able to, offer to give your caregiving loved one respite and sit with the person needing care for a couple of hours. Give your caregiving loved one movie passes or a restaurant gift card they can go out and enjoy.”

 


JENNIFER MANGERS, PEDIATRIC SERVICES TEAM MANAGER

Grocery delivery: “Gift cards for services like InstaCart are great so that someone can have groceries delivered to their home when they are unable to get away or for ease and saving time.”

Spa or salon gift cards: “These give caregivers a chance to take a break, get out and care for themselves.”

 


ANITA JUAREZ, LEAD STAFF REGISTERED NURSE

Low-maintenance plants: “I have started gifting low-maintenance plants in lieu of flowers for different occasions. They brighten up the place immediately, clean the air, are less expensive than a premium bouquet, they (hopefully) last longer, and many people enjoy the quiet, meditative act of caring for a living plant even if just watering it once a week.”

 


SHEILA GATZ, PEDIATRIC SERVICES ASSOCIATE TEAM MANAGER

Pet care: “Offer to help with caring for their pet(s), such as taking the dog for a walk, grooming, etc. This would be especially helpful for those who are caring for a loved one and don’t have the time or energy to give to their pets, which can cause added guilt or stress.”

Decorate: “Offer or surprise a family by decorating the outside of their home for the holidays. This can be a cumbersome task for someone to do themselves but can really help get them in the holiday spirit when completed and keep a sense of ‘normalcy.’”

For parents of young children: “Offer to help with caring for other siblings or children in home who may need some added attention and fun in their lives, especially when the parents’ attention is placed on the child who is sick.”

Legacy ornaments and keepsakes:“Choose a personalized ornament or keepsake in honor of their deceased love one.”