Many address the challenges of caregiving but say little about the benefits of being a caregiver. Fact is, when we take time for ourselves, there are several benefits or gifts we receive as caregivers. Here are four of them:
Gift of relationship
Whether we are a professional or a family member, we are in relationship with those receiving care. This privilege allows us to learn a person’s interests, their likes and dislikes, hear their histories, and to share in their joys and sorrows.
Gift of fulfillment
Caregivers are needed. We all need to be needed, When we embrace this sense of purpose provided by this role, when we acknowledge the skills required of us, when we realize we are making a difference to those in our care we CAN experience fulfillment.
Gift of challenges
At first pass challenges would seem a negative. Consider what it takes problem solving skills to address some challenges. Think of all the memory skills practiced by caregivers.
Gift of health benefits
Some studies show caregivers who assist with activities of daily living (ADLs) are more physically fit. The caveat is this gift seems to apply to those who manage stress and care for themselves.
Smile and pat yourself on the back for the work you do as a caregiver. Embrace that attitude and self-care are key to experiencing these gifts.
Care for yourself.