While caring for an elderly loved one comes with many challenges and the potential for great stress, it can also be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. As a caregiver, you do one of the most challenging and important jobs, but the help you give doesn’t need to be a one-way street. Here are some of the best and most surprising rewards that being a caregiver can provide, presented by Home Care Assistance Denver.
1. Lasting Memories
Providing home care for a loved one is a chance to make new memories that you will carry for the rest of your life. Many caregivers look back on the last years of their loved one’s life and realize they developed a closer relationship and learned more about their loved one than ever before.
2. Increased Confidence
Learning to take care of ourselves is a part of growing up, but learning to care for someone else can help you gain confidence in your own abilities and instill a sense of personal satisfaction. Overcoming the daily challenges of being a caregiver can bolster your own sense of wellbeing as well.
3. Improved Memory
One study found that being a caregiver can actually improve your cognitive function as you age. This study found that caregivers performed better on memory tests than non-caregivers over the course of two years. Both groups were in their 80s, but the caregivers scored at the same level as people a decade younger.
4. Reduced Risk of Dying
While caregiving can have a negative impact on your health if you don’t practice regular self-care, research has found that it’s all a matter of perspective. Caregivers who have a positive outlook, and take care of their own health as well, have a 30-60 percent lower risk of dying compared to non-caregiving counterparts.
5. Increased Strength
Being a live-in or respite caregiver often requires a great deal of physical activity and exercise. It keeps you on your feet and moving, which can support improved physical health. A study of 900 women found that active caregivers maintained greater physical performance than their non-caregiving counterparts. Women who were high-intensity caregivers (or those who performed many functions for their loved one) scored better on grip strength, walking speed, and other measures of strength than non-caregivers.
If you could use help meeting the complex care needs of your senior loved one, reach out to Denver Home Care Assistance. We’re a leading provider of hourly and live-in care in Denver, and our highly trained, compassionate caregivers can ensure your loved one has all the support he or she needs to maintain a high quality of life. Call a friendly Care Manager at (720) 443-3371 and request a complimentary in-home consultation.