Holiday gift ideas for home care and hospice

It feels like Christmas and Hanukkah are only days away. But don’t worry – if you haven’t started thinking about employee, customer and referral partner appreciation gifts for the holidays, it’s not too late.

Staff members such as home health aides, nurses, physical therapists, and office professionals do so much more than allow you to simply meet your daily needs and goals; they’re the face and heart of your business. Referral partners keep your business going strong, and clients are at the center of it all.

It’s a good idea to not only take time during the holidays to wish them well, but to thank them for choosing you as an employer, caregiver or partner. The good news is you don’t have to break the bank to express your gratitude. Here are some tips to make the most of this holiday opportunity.

For employees:

  • Make it personal. This might not be the best time to hand out company branded promotional items. Instead, select something specific that reflects that person’s tastes – maybe a fancy wine opener for a wine enthusiast or a compass for the hiker on your staff.
  • Make it yummy. Food is always a popular gift. You can go traditional with hams and turkeys, indulge a sweet tooth with chocolate, or distribute tasty nut-filled gift baskets.
  • Make it fun. Digital streaming devices such as the Google Chromecast or Roku stick are fun and affordable. Consider adding a prepaid six-month subscription to a TV streaming service such as Hulu or Netflix.
  • Make it align with your mission. As healthcare professionals, it makes sense to offer a gift that promotes a healthy lifestyle. That might be as simple as a basket of fresh fruit or a personally inscribed cookbook. Or you can splurge on a fitness tracker like the Fitbit.

Before you do anything for clients or referral partners, make sure you keep Stark Law regulations and federal anti-kickback rules at the forefront of your mind. Just because it’s the holidays doesn’t mean you get a break on following the law. Stay on the right side of the law and consult your attorney or compliance officer about any proposed gift and your intent before you spend a single cent.

For clients:

  • Make it helpful. Keep the monetary limits in mind and keep the gift under $10. Consider a helpful adaptive device, such as a jar opener; a pillbox; or a sock aid.
  • Make it fun. Puzzle books or adult coloring books with a set of crayons could provide a fun boost.

For referral partners:

  • Make it useful. Coffee mugs, fruit-infuser water bottles and bookmarks are inexpensive and can be used again and again.
  • Make it tasty. Tins of nuts, plates of cookies and baskets of fruit are always welcome.
  • Make it pretty. Flowers, a lovely tree ornament or stylish scarf are festive and memorable.

Whatever you do, don’t forget to include a personalized card that you sign by hand. Personalize a quality holiday card with your own unique message about home care or hospice and make sure to include one with every gift you distribute.

And don’t forget, business gifts, such as those to employees and customers, may be tax deductible. If you choose to distribute gifts to employees, the IRS allows a deduction of $25 per business contact (including employees) per year. Check with your tax professional to learn whether the gifts you’re choosing can be deducted when you file your next return.