Being a caregiver for a loved one can bring highs and lows. Caregiving is a major commitment. It takes time, effort and love. It can sometimes be hard to see the benefits of being a caregiver when you are in the midst of the day-to-day work of caregiving.
When looked at through a different lens, caregiving is an opportunity to help the people you love. It can enrich your life and fill you with a sense of purpose. And there’s lots of other ways the role of caregiver can positively impact your life, including the following:
Forming a deeper connection
As a caregiver, you are given the gift of more time with your loved one. From sharing meals to grocery shopping, you get to play an active role in their daily life. You might already have a close relationship with your parent or loved one, but caregiving can lead to deeper and more meaningful conversations as a result of your time together.
The chance to give back
Chances are, your loved one has cared for you in numerous ways throughout your life, and now as a caregiver, you can show them the same level of attentive assistance and support. You may also feel as though you’re passing on a tradition by modeling caregiving in your own home. Your children watch and learn from your actions and someday, your children may provide the same quality care for you.
Peace of mind
One of the biggest benefits of caregiving is the assurance and confidence you have knowing your loved one is well-cared for. You’ll get to be a part of conversations with their doctor, know first-hand what they recommend and can ensure their plan of care is being followed.
By serving in a lot of different roles, you may develop new skills and increase your confidence in your ability to handle whatever comes your way. Caregiving will throw you a lot of curveballs that will better equip you for managing challenges in other areas of your life, from work to parenting and everything in between.
Priorities will become clear
Caring for a loved one helps to reframe what is important in life and what is not. Although it can seem overwhelming at times, having someone so important to focus on can help you eliminate distractions and determine how – and with whom – you want to spend your time.
Remember, as a caregiver, you’ll face a lot of unknowns. Go easy on yourself and remember to reach out for support. Take time for yourself when you need it and remember to look at being a caregiver as a blessing.
As a caregiver, it’s important to avoid caregiver burnout by balancing your time and energy helping the people you love while making time for yourself. At the Good Samaritan Society, we’re here to help at any stage of caregiving.