The Upside of Family Caregivers
Many caregivers have affirmative experiences from caregiving, including the ability to give back to someone who has cared for them, the satisfaction of knowing that their loved one is getting excellent care, and increased meaning and purpose in life.
Some caregivers feel that they are passing on a tradition of care and that by modeling caregiving, their children will be more likely care for them if necessary.
Family caregivers can also find value in their caregiving role. For example, family caregivers often develop a positive form of coping with stressful circumstances. These benefits may be a product of the ability to find meaning through positive reassessments or spiritual beliefs.
This sense of satisfaction and well-being can have important benefits for caregivers well after caregiving has ended.
According to a survey on family caregiving by Caring Today Magazine, most family caregivers feel more positive about their experiences than they did just before they took on the responsibility, with significant differences in expectation prior to becoming a caregiver and the actual experience.
See Our Article – Complaining Caregivers
The survey also found that caregivers are often burdened by high out-of-pocket costs in caring for a spouse or parent, but:
- Sixty percent of the caregivers called the experience “very or extremely rewarding,” a 50% jump over the number of caregivers who thought in advance they would find the experience “very or extremely rewarding.” Nearly 80% (78.8%) percent of the caregivers found the experience to be at least “rewarding,” an increase of more than one-third from initial expectation.
- A majority of the caregivers, nearly 54%, formed a stronger bond with the patient during the time they were together.
- Almost 60% of the respondents reported an improvement in the quality of their relationship with the person for whom they cared. By contrast, fewer than 10% said that their relationship got worse during the time they were caregivers.
- Social activities of family caregivers tend to diminish. However, the diminished social activities are replaced with an increased quality of relationship with the care recipient.
- More than 2/3 of all caregivers (68.7%) said they enjoy the tasks associated with caregiving. However, prior to assuming the role, fewer than half (45.5%) thought they would enjoy caregiving.
- More than ¾ of caregivers are female. Nearly ¾ range in age from 35 to 59.
The amount of satisfaction for family caregivers is related to the type of disease from which the care recipient suffers. Caregivers of depression sufferers, cancer and cardiac disease have more difficulty than those caring for patients who suffer from diabetes, high blood pressure and arthritis.
Have you had a positive caregiving experience?
We’d love to hear about it.