The results are in: a recent Caring.com survey of family caregivers revealed that nearly half of all of those providing care for a senior loved one were happy in their role. Though we know there are many challenges to overcome, there are just as many – if not more – benefits to serving as a family caregiver. Take a look at just a few of the many caregiver perks below:
- The bond with your loved one is strengthened. Devoting time to caring for someone else naturally lends itself to getting to know each other better. Opportunities arise for the senior to share stories from the past and insight into his or her thoughts, feelings, values, etc. that you may not have otherwise known.
- You gain empathy. We’re each on our own journey towards aging, and providing care for a loved one in her elder years helps us to discover how we will wish to be treated and cared for in our later years, as well as a more in-depth understanding of what that experience entails. A family caregiver becomes well equipped through simple acts of care to relate on a more personal level with the senior, strengthening her own character in the process.
- You have a sense of purpose. Self-worth is one of the key elements of a fulfilled life, and providing care for others allows the family caregiver the satisfaction of knowing there is true meaning behind each task, as it directly impacts the quality of life of another.
- You’re more self-confident. Although you may feel at times as though you’re making mistakes, it is precisely these mistakes that help us to learn and grow, leading to enhanced self-confidence. It’s also worth noting the importance of forgiving yourself for things you wish you’d done differently, and focus instead on the fact that you’re doing the very best you can for your loved one.
- You’re healthier – and may even live longer than non-caregivers. Research shows that family caregivers have better cognitive functioning, are walking more and at a faster pace, and are living longer than those who are not providing care. Caring for someone else actually helps care for you!
The key is to find a healthy balance between meeting your loved one’s needs and meeting your own. A family caregiver who is hesitant to seek help and tries to manage everything alone is at risk for a variety of serious health concerns, including caregiver burnout, depression, and more. Taking care of yourself is the single kindest task you can do for your senior loved one, as it enables you to provide a higher quality level of care when your own emotional and physical needs are met.
At Nightingale Homecare, top providers of the in home care Paradise Valley, AZ seniors need, can provide the trusted respite care to allow family members to take much-needed breaks from care while knowing their loved one is in the very best hands. Contact us at (602) 504-1555 to learn more!