During the last two months, we have all given and received thanks. Whether it was family or friends, Thanksgiving or Christmas, we all said thanks and we are told thanks a number of times.

When a family member tells us how much we are appreciated, maybe because our services have allowed them to keep an aging family member at home, that has special meaning for us. And it’s even more special when the person we are caring for tells us how much we are appreciated. That’s part of the reason we do what we do.

We are often told by family members that what stands out for them about us is the approach we use to deal with their loved ones. Our professional caregivers take the time to understand the unique needs of each of the people with whom we work.

It could be personal care, companion service, help with medication, meal planning or preparation or some light housekeeping; the services are done uniquely for everyone. And the two services we provide that make the most difference for the people we help – transportation support and respite care – are often the ones for which we get the biggest thanks.

When your loved one has a doctor’s appointment, and we help get them there, it means a great deal to caregivers who sometimes see the task of transporting as a challenging or even impossible task.

And while most family caregivers need to be pushed into it, respite care is one of the most vital services we provide. Being a family caregiver may be the most challenging of endeavors. But sometimes you need the care. You need time away – to relax and pamper yourself. Without that respite care you become less and less effective as a family caregiver for your loved one.

So as we start a new year, take a minute and hold on to the thanks you gave and received during the recent holiday season. We do, and as a result, we are more motivated to provide those professional caregiver services needed by you and your loved ones.

Happy New Year and, if you are a family that uses our services, thank you for allowing us to be part of your family.

By Sally Dahlem

Sally Dahlem is a partner at Home by Choice, which provides private-duty homecare services. She and her business partner, John Markham, have more than 35 years of experience in home healthcare, assisted living, long-term care and the medical equipment industries.