When society talks about assisting disabled and/or elderly family members, they often skip over the benefits of caregiving. It’s a shame, too, because studies show there are plenty of positive aspects of caregiving. We’re here to put the rumors to rest. If a family caretaker balances their duties with respite and plenty of support, the experience is very rewarding.
Busting the Myth with Real Benefits of Caregiving
The truth is all in the numbers
According to several studies, 83% of caregivers viewed their experience in a positive light, with about 44% reporting they felt no extra strain in the new role. These numbers might be shocking after what you’ve read or heard about depression, anxiety, or ailing health in family caretakers.
Humans want to talk to others about things in their lives that are stressful or overwhelming rather than their wins. Think about it this way, when you go to lunch with a girlfriend after a rough week with your partner, do you talk about the flowers they brought you home last week or the chores they didn’t do the day before? This natural human behavior could explain why rewards of being a caregiver get lost.
Previous studies concluded caregivers also die younger than non-caregivers. Several assisted living facilities, nursing homes, and international medical journals republished these findings and enforced the rumor. But the truth? A larger study revealed caregivers actually live longer than their non-caregiver peers.
Rewards of being a caregiver
Those who seek caregiver support in the form of an adult day care facility or community group report many benefits of caregiving. People who focus on a balance between their role and their own lives found:
- They do not feel high levels of stress or strain.
- Coping with their new role was an easy transition.
- Their overall health improved.
- They had more daily positive experiences with their disabled and/or aging loved one.
How to enjoy the benefits of caregiving
The advantages of being a caregiver might not always come easy, but with some work, you’ll find them. The difference between those who found happiness in peace with their new life and those who did not is the way they approached it from the beginning.
Caregiver support is no longer deciding between a nursing home facility or an assisted living facility. When you realize your elderly or disabled loved one needs more one-on-one attention than they did before, look into an adult day care. You can keep your most treasured family member at home with you while sharing some of the responsibility with a capable, experienced facility.
When you have the time to still do the things you love, it’s easier to see the rewards of caregiving.
Tips for creating a positive experience
There are days when your new role might get the best of you. On those days, remember these things and keep your chin up:
- It takes a village; there is no harm in asking for caregiver support.
- Focus on your wins rather than frustrations.
- Be kind and patient with your loved one and yourself.
- There are tons of information and resources available to use as a roadmap on your journey.
- It’s okay to need some time for yourself.
- Communicate with your loved one and family members.
- An adult day care service is just a phone call away.
Start Your Caregiving Journey Off on the Right Foot
Are you starting your journey as a family caregiver? At Nevada Adult Day Healthcare Centers, we’re very familiar with the rewards of caregiving. Contact us today and find out how we can be a valuable caregiver support system.