As if your hair stylist, newspaper delivery person and mail carrier weren’t enough to acknowledge at the holiday season, when you have mesothelioma, the holidays are also a time to consider thanking your mesothelioma support team. What’s the protocol for tipping or giving holiday gifts to home health aides, care managers, and others who are part of the mesothelioma support team you rely on?
We made a list and checked it twice with information from etiquette expert Peggy Post, great-granddaughter-in-law of Emily Post, and from the website Caring.com:
- Basic Guidelines
- Home health aides: Gift, unless it’s against company policy (then consider a donation to the agency)
- Personal caregiver: One week to one month’s salary or gift
- Private nurse: A thoughtful gift
- Nursing home workers: Flowers or food for staff to share (not cash)
- Live-in help: One week to one month pay in cash tip, plus gift
- Daytime help: Gift or $25- $75
- Housekeeper: Up to one week’s pay and/or small gift
- Yard/garden worker: $20 to $50 each
But these guidelines are only starting points.
- Factor in reality
Holiday tipping isn’t a law. So consider:
- Your budget. Not to let you off the hook completely, but your budget matters. It’s an equation you have to make with your head and your heart.
- The relationship. The person who goes the extra mile for you and your mesothelioma patient may deserve a holiday tip or gift more than a staff person who is very impersonal and just follows the rules.
- The policy. Some home health agencies and care facilities don’t permit their employees to accept cash tips, so check. Small gifts may be permissible.
- The town. It’s customary to tip wider and higher in some places than others. It’s okay to ask spouses of other patients about how they plan to tip their mesothelioma support team for the holidays.
- What to do if you’re stretched thin?
Tips aren’t necessarily big checks. Think food (a homemade specialty, a treat), grocery or department store gift cards, a fancy soap or candle or handmade gifts for your mesothelioma support team.
Whatever you give, include a brief note expressing your gratitude grateful and special thanks. Which, of course, is what matters most and is in keeping with the spirit of the season.