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Friday November 1, 2019

Ways We're Thankful for Caregivers

I was planning to write a blog post on the benefits of thankfulness. I was going to talk about how gratefulness reduces stress and improves mood. I was going to share some tips on incorporating more thankfulness into your daily routine. But then I realized… instead of telling you how to be thankful, I should tell you why I’m thankful for you.

Caregiver, I am so very thankful for you. Bask in that for a moment. You are appreciated. You are seen. We see your efforts, sacrifice, and love. You may feel ordinary and frail and like a total failure. Be encouraged. You are worthy of thanks.

I am thankful for your strength.

You push through each day, even when you are tired, even when you feel like you don’t have anything else to give.

I am thankful for your bravery.

You are brave enough to ask for help. You are vulnerable enough to say: “I can’t do this alone.”

I am thankful for your example of love.

You do 1,000 little things each day to give your loved one the best days possible.

I am thankful for your selflessness.

I am thankful for the difficult days and sleepless nights when you tend to your loved one’s needs.

I am thankful for the way you advocate.

You stick up for the one you love. You work with doctors to make sure your loved one is as healthy as possible. You work with other family members to make important financial and care decisions.

I am thankful for your humility.

I am thankful that you reach out to others for support and information. You call or stop in with questions, attend support groups, and lean on the wisdom of others.

I am thankful for your humor.

You don’t take everything too seriously. You still smile and laugh. You go out of your way to make your loved one laugh.

I am thankful for your respect.

You treat your loved one with such dignity. You know your loved one is an adult and not a child. You respect their history and agency.

I am thankful for your perseverance.

You know this is a marathon and not a sprint. I am thankful when you recognize you need to care for yourself, too. When you realize that caring for yourself doesn’t make you selfish, but rather strengthens you for the days ahead.

I am thankful for your trust.

I am thankful that you allow us to care for your loved one and to be a part of your lives. And I am thankful that you keep us in the loop even after your loved one has left our care (because we miss you so!).