Being a caregiver is an extremely rewarding position. In fact, the National Opinion Research Center found that 8 out of 10 caregivers report their experience caregiving as positive. However, when we talk about caregiving, we often focus on the challenges caregivers face, the sacrifices caregivers make, and the potentially negative effects caregivers may experience. From learning life skills to finding life’s purpose, it’s very clear that the benefits of caregiving are not only worth mentioning but also outweigh the negatives. If you’re considering a career in caregiving, keep these five benefits in mind!
Caregiving will give you a sense of accomplishment.
There are going to be curveballs. There will be days you question your judgment or even why you started caregiving in the first place. However, at the end of the day, no one ever thinks helping others is a waste of time. With each new challenge and obstacle you overcome, you will learn new life skills that will help you become confident in your ability to handle just about anything life throws your way.
Takeaway Tip: Even if you can handle everything, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you should. Make sure you know what your responsibilities are and if you feel that you need help, never be afraid to reach out! Helping others is an amazing feeling, but you should always be aware of your own needs to avoid caregiver burnout.
Caregiving will allow you to build strong relationships.
The act of caring for another person encourages a very deep bond. Spending time building trust, providing emotional support, and making a new friend in your client will help you develop your ability to connect with others, even in more difficult situations.
Takeaway Tip: Even if you do everything right, scary situations can sometimes happen! If your client falls seriously ill, it can be very easy to blame yourself. Keep in mind that you are not responsible for protecting your client from absolutely everything. This can be especially difficult to remember once you have established a solid friendship with your client. Do your best to treat yourself with compassion and empathy regarding your client’s care.
Caregiving will reveal your true friends and family.
Being a caregiver is not easy. Moreover, a hard day for a caregiver doesn’t look anything like a hard day for a non-caregiver. You are working directly with patients whose health is not always stable, and you will need support. Throughout your journey, you will discover which of your friends are willing to listen to the difficult moments you experience throughout your work day. You will learn who will celebrate your victories with you and who will provide a shoulder to cry on when things get tough.
Takeaway Tip: Asking for emotional support is not a sign of weakness. If you’re having trouble finding a trusted friend or family member, reach out to your management team for support! At Senior Solutions, we make it a priority to ensure our caregivers never feel alone.
Caregiving will teach you what really matters in life.
Caregivers spend their days helping those in need and in the process, learn patience, understanding, loyalty, and countless other virtues. Over time, you will discover your own virtues and values and how best to prioritize them in your life. In addition, your client will most likely be able to impart some of his or her wisdom onto you, allowing you to see new perspectives on what it means to have lived a full and happy life.
Takeaway Tip: Get to know your clients on a personal level. Ask them about their pasts, their families, their ambitions, and their regrets. You never know what you can learn from another person until you’ve asked!
Caregiving will help you find your purpose.
Caregiving is more than just a day job. It is human nature to wish to feel needed, and caregiving more than fulfills that wish. When you care for another person, you will find a greater meaning and purpose for your life, allowing you to refocus on the things that are most important – building solid relationships with family and friends.
Takeaway Tip: Take comfort in knowing that only very special people are called to become caregivers. Empathy, selflessness, and compassion are wonderful qualities and you should celebrate your calling to make the most of them!