Unexpected Ways Caregiving Can Change Your Life

Caregiving is not all challenges and backaches. If you are thinking of becoming a caregiver or have been on the job for quite some time and just want to look at where this journey has taken you, you’re in for a surprise. In case you're unsure of what’s in store for you, here’s your reassurance: there is a bright side to caregiving.

What are some remarkable benefits of caregiving?

Warning! Spoilers ahead.

1. It gives you a sense of purpose.

The minute you start caregiving, you automatically become instrumental in safeguarding and promoting a person’s wellbeing. The noble purpose to which you have decided to embark on will be revealed more clearly as you spend months and years on the job.

When you see patients get better, you become a part of their joy. That glimmer of hope you see in their eyes is your unspoken reward.

Caregiving gives you a reason to wake up every day and show up at work. You mumble to yourself, "My patients need me. Who else would drink tea with Mrs. Smith? I'm the only one she trusts."

The way you touch someone's life through caregiving fills your life with a very meaningful purpose.

2. You’ll be able to handle frustrations easier.

Caring for patients and working with the other staff will make you realize that there are many things which you cannot change. A patient’s diagnosis, the expected progression of their disease, and their preferences hardly change. The same goes for your co-workers’ personalities and points of view.

The takeaway here is that the earlier you accept these things, the better you’ll be able to handle frustrations. You’ll also be able to focus more on things that you have control over, like your thoughts and actions.

3. It gives you a whole new perspective to what's really important and valuable in life.

Caregiving helps point you to the most significant things in life: health, deep connection with other people, and inner peace and satisfaction.

Seeing patients lose their bodily functions tells you that health should always be a priority. Sacrificing one's health over material wealth is never a good trade-off.

Caring for older people or hospice patients teaches us that in the end, people usually just desire to be connected with family and close friends. With caregiving, there is a stark reminder to spend quality time with our loved ones.

It’s also good to know that you have served your life’s purpose through caregiving.

4. You’ll come to the conclusion that sincerity goes a long way.

Nowadays, genuineness is a real rarity. Take social media, for example. Social media is a platform where truth and sincerity are exceptional finds.

Likewise, at work, you’ve probably developed a system of doing things, then put yourself on auto-mode and disregard your patient. You perform tasks just for the sake of completing them and not really to make the patient feel better.

In the long run, you'll likely realize that working like a robot makes you an uncaring and insensitive caregiver and, therefore, inefficient. The lesson is: a touch of sincerity in every aspect of your work leads to better patient cooperation and satisfaction.

5. You’ll only fully appreciate independence when you start losing it.

Many patients cannot readily come into terms with their loss of independence due to a disease. Their frustrations mount up and it adds to the stress of their poor health conditions.

It’s easy to take for granted the things that we readily have. Once an illness takes away a bodily function, it is only then that we start realizing the value of health and independence.

6. You become smarter and tougher.

Your caregiving experience has more benefits than you’ll ever know. Perhaps you’ve noticed that it takes a lot less time to do a procedure than before. You've mastered techniques of doing activities of daily living. You'd probably have a list of life hacks that you can share with newbies.

Being a caregiver also strengthens you as a person. It's like having a radar for emergencies and knowing exactly what to do. Witnessing sickness and death also somehow helps you to overcome challenges and prepares you for what lies ahead.

Caregiving gives a better understanding of life in general. It takes you on a unique life journey, full of lessons and meaningful connections. Caregiving is not for the faint of heart. But if you have the determination to see yourself through this path, you’ll be happy that you did, for it will be a life well lived.