Time isn’t an easy thing to give away, but depending on how you spend it, the reward is worth it. Caregivers know this more than anyone. It’s hard work, both physically and emotionally, to take care of the needs of someone else, especially for the person who has cared for you your entire life. There is a lot to learn when the roles become reversed.
There will be extra costs, more time spent doing things you may not enjoy, and it can be taxing on your relationships. But the benefits can far outweigh the challenges and you’ll feel wonderful helping someone stay in their own home for as long as possible. Recent studies show that caregivers experience more positive emotions, like compassion, satisfaction, and happiness in making someone else’s life better. Smiles are contagious, after all!
You may even find more unexpected rewards in being a caregiver. Having multiple generations under the same roof, or just spending time with one another, can help broaden your perspective and allow you to see things through a new lens. Intergenerational experiences are mutually beneficial. They can help your care recipient feel as though they have more of a purpose and you might even get to hear some incredible stories about what it was like to grow up in a different time.
Caregivers looking after someone who suffered a stroke even reported feeling a greater appreciation for life. It helped them to feel more confident and strengthened relationships among loved ones during trying times.
At times, there may be tears and you may be tired. But remember all the good that comes with your help. Don’t forget to take some time for yourself, too! It’s hard to take care of someone else if you haven’t taken care of yourself first. Thank you for being you, caregivers.