Focusing on the benefits of caregiving, rather than dwelling on the negatives, can improve resilience and reduce the risk of burnout. Here are four ways family caregiving can positively impact your life.
Updated September 27, 2022
Modified March 14, 2023
What Are The Benefits Of Caregiving?
Since 2015, the number of family caregivers in the US has risen by more than 9.5 million. As more Americans provide unpaid care for an aging parent or loved one, conversations about family caregivers — and the toll of their role — are becoming more frequent.
At times, it seems like many discussions focus on the challenges rather than the benefits of caregiving. Yet, while this role is far from easy, it can be enriching. For example, a 2014 National Opinion Research Centre (NOPC) survey found that 8 in 10 adults view their caregiving role positively.
A similar survey by the Pew Research Center also found that 88% of Americans found caregiving more rewarding than stressful. These findings shed new light on “caregiver gains,” where individuals may experience a higher sense of purpose or achieve new life skills.
4 Benefits Of Caregiving
Caring for another person, especially a parent, offers unique hurdles and barriers. Although these difficulties are stressful, overcoming them can feel rewarding. Continue reading to learn more about the benefits of caregiving.
1. Sense Of Fulfillment
Undoubtedly, supporting another person day in and day out can be enormously taxing. However, helping another person also offers a deep sense of accomplishment.
Depending on the type of person you are, this experience can feel like a reward unto itself. After all, when was the last time anyone said helping others and bringing them happiness was a waste of time?
The American Psychological Association says of the NOPC’s conclusions:
2. Strong Relationships
Even in tough times, caring for others cultivates empathy and the ability to bond with others. For example, adolescents participating in a family member’s care show increased sharing and interaction among siblings. However, many might not realize the power of caring. It promotes heartfelt connections between people as they come to each other for emotional support.
3. Personal Growth
One of the benefits of caregiving is the diverse skills gained through this experience. Caring for a parent is a strong impetus for learning the correct ways of doing specific tasks, such as finances or handling the estate. It also instills patience, understanding, and loyalty, which benefit both personal and professional areas of life.
4. Physical Benefits Of Caregiving
While much of the benefits of caregiving are intangible, this role does have its physical advantages. For example, a 2019 study found that older women who assist more with ADLs for individuals with osteoporotic fractures experienced better physical health and lower rates of physical decline.
After all, the average caregiver spends most of their time on their feet, moving around, lifting, bending, and much more. The routine activities that caregivers help with, such as bathing, dressing, and carrying heavy medical equipment, improve both strength and stamina. Over time, these can go a long way to promoting physical health.
Furthermore, this role can help promote cognition. Multitasking, organizing schedules, paying bills, remembering medication times and doses, and interacting with healthcare and insurance professionals sharpen cognitive functioning and boost memory.
MeetCaregivers Can Help You Enjoy More Benefits Of Caregiving
Managing day-to-day responsibilities with caring for a loved one can be challenging. However, the right attitude can help you see past the negatives and at the positives. Research shows that those who focus on the positives of caring for loved ones are less likely to experience depressive symptoms.
Caregivers work in a unique position where they can receive intangible advantages that last a lifetime. So when you feel overwhelmed with the stress of caregiving, remember the benefits you experience from it, too.
As a family caregiver, you may have already experienced some of the benefits of caregiving. But when you need a break, a qualified in-home care worker from MeetCaregivers may be just what you need. So reach out today and learn how to provide your loved ones with the care they need while you recharge and rebalance.
For more resources about caregiving and aging in place, visit the Blog.
- The Many Benefits of Caring for Others. (2017, May 31). Retrieved January 16, 2020, from https://www.caregiverstress.com/stress-management/daughters-in-the-workplace/benefits-of-caring-for-others-canada/
- The Benefits of Caregiving. (n.d.). Retrieved January 16, 2020, from https://www.vitas.com/family-and-caregiver-support/caregiving/caregiving-basics/the-benefits-of-caregiving/
- In the News: The Health Benefits of Caregiving. (2017, March 23). Retrieved January 16, 2020, from https://www.caringvillage.com/2017/03/10/news-health-benefits-caregiving/