Sometimes care giving can be a burden. You give up part of your life while juggling a full-time job and children. You get exhausted, stressed and depressed trying to balance your life while dealing with the emotional and physical tolls of caring for a loved who is either ungrateful or dealing with cognitive decline and is completely oblivious to all of your self-sacrifice. However, care giving can also have its benefits.
Spending time with loved ones has many psychological benefits, but care giving has shown to have even more positive psychological, mental and physical rewards. According to Vitas Healthcare, in a 2014 survey, 83 percent of caregivers expressed having a positive experience.
Caregivers have expressed feeling their lives having more purpose and experiencing more personal satisfaction. Taking care of someone can add value to your life and make one feel more important, whereas in other aspects of their life may feel helpless, such as children moving out of the nest and seeming to not need their parents anymore. You gain a feeling of self-worth by taking care of a loved one who needs it most. It has the ability to reduce the feeling of worthlessness you develop from depression and help your psychological state. Also, caregivers who focus less on the strains of care giving and more on the positive aspects, such as being able to spend time with your loved one will experience low levels of depression. Remember to avoid overworking yourself and giving in to caregiver burnout and you can enjoy the positive side of care giving.
Care giving can also have emotional benefits by allowing you to grow closer with your loved one. As we’ve mentioned before, care giving allows people to change their family reputation, heal wounded or broken relationships, and connect with loved ones on a deeper level. Just by caring for your loved one on a daily basis, you will find that you are getting to know each other better as well as gaining self-worth.
As a caregiver, you are constantly on your feet tending to your loved one; therefore, you will find that there are several physical benefits to being a caregiver. Consistently dressing, bathing and moving heavy equipment for your loved one while also running errands and cleaning your home or their home can build your stamina and strength. Even if you work out with your loved one while also caring for them at home, you will see that care giving can improve your overall physical health.
Being your loved one’s overall at-home secretary and assistant can also have mental benefits as well. If you are constantly keeping up with their schedule such as important doctor appointments, family visits, eating and sleeping periods, medication times and doses and keeping up with important bills and payments, you can experience major cognitive benefits.
Being a caregiver can be exhausting and burdening, but it can also be very rewarding. Try to focus less on the negative aspects of care giving and focus more on the benefits for your mental, psychological and physical health.