Benefits of Caregiving
As more Americans become responsible for the care of an aging parent or loved one, conversations about family caregiving are becoming more frequent. At times, it seems like many discussions focus on the challenges, rather than the benefits of caregiving.
While this role isn’t always easy, it can be immensely rewarding. According to the National Opinion Research Centre (NOPC), 8 in 10 adults rated their caregiving role positively.
A similar survey conducted by the Pew Research Center in the same year (2014) also found that 88% of Americans found caregiving to be more rewarding than stressful.
These findings are shedding new light on “caregiver gain” where individuals may experience a higher sense of purpose or achieve new life skills.
Continue reading to learn more about the benefits of caregiving.
Having a Sense of Accomplishment
Caring for another person, especially a parent, offers unique hurdles and barriers. Although these difficulties are stressful, overcoming them can feel rewarding.
The American Psychological Association says of the NOPC’s conclusions:
“Many family caregivers report positive experiences from caregiving, including a sense of giving back to someone who has cared for them, the satisfaction of knowing that their loved one is getting excellent care, personal growth and increased meaning and purpose in one’s life. Some caregivers feel that they are passing on a tradition of care and that by modeling caregiving, their children will be more likely care for them if necessary.”
After all, when was the last time anyone said assisting others and bringing them happiness was a waste of time?
Developing Strong Relationships
Caring for other people, even in tough times, 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.
Many might not realize the power of caring. It promotes heartfelt connections between people as they come to each other for emotional support.
Feeling Appreciated and 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. For example, preparing finances or handling the estate.
It also instills patience, understanding, and loyalty, which benefit both personal and professional areas of life.
The Physical Benefits
While much of the benefits of caregiving are intangible, it does have its physical advantages. The average caregiver spends most of their time on their feet, moving around, lifting, bending, etc.
The routine activities that caregivers help with, such as bathing, dressing, moving heavy medical equipment, etc., improves both strength and stamina.
A recent study found that older women contributing more with ADLs for individuals with osteoporotic fractures saw better physical health and lower rates of physical decline.
When done regularly, these can go a long way to promote physical health.
Furthermore, this role requires several skills that develop cognition. Multitasking, shuffling schedules, bill pay, remembering medication times and doses, and interactions with healthcare and insurance professionals all sharpen cognitive functioning and boost memory.
The Benefits of Caregiving
Managing day-to-day responsibilities with caring for a loved one can be tough. However, the right attitude can go a long way to look 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 as well.
As a family caregiver, you may have experienced some of the benefits already.
When you need a break, a qualified in-home care worker from MeetCaregivers may be just what you need.
Reach out to us online or on the phone today and learn how you can provide your loved one with the care they need while you recharge and rebalance.
Call (888) 541-1136, or send an email at firstname.lastname@example.org for more.
For more information and resources about senior health and safety, 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/