Being a caregiver can be a trying role. It is rarely something people are prepared for when the call comes, nevertheless, countless everyday heroes rise to the challenge of providing care for someone they love. When taking on this new role, it can be jarring just how much the life or a carer changes as focus shifts from primarily looking after their own life, to primarily looking after another’s.
Despite this change, the American Psychological Association reports that 83 per cent of caregivers viewed it as being a positive experience. Their findings also highlight, however, that carers will often experience “both positive experiences and some strain simultaneously”. With this in mind, we’re going to take a look at some things to remind yourself of, as a caregiver, if you ever feel that the strain is outweighing the good.
You are there
We are often called upon to give care for someone who can no longer take care of themselves because of age and/or degenerative disease. In instances such as this, it’s important to remember that, as a caregiver, you are being there for your charge as they face a difficult time. For many, this is the final stage of their life, and having someone by their side will help temper the fear they may feel. They may not acknowledge it with words, but your act of love will be gratefully received by the one for whom you care.
For those who have someone in their life who needs care, it can be difficult to notice the special little moments. But as a caregiver, those tiny glimmers can make a bad day, week, or month worth all the effort. If you’re a caregiver, you no doubt love when these unexpected moments happen – whatever form they take – so cherish them, remember them, and hold them tight in your heart when things feel difficult.
You make a difference
It can be easy to forget that being a caregiver is about making a very real difference in the life of another person. But it’s so important to remember that what you are doing is changing someone else’s life for the better. Your sacrifice, your hard work, they add up to a better life for someone you love.
To you, what’s the most rewarding aspect of being a caregiver?