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The Many Benefits of Caring for Others

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Being a caregiver is one of the most important and personally rewarding roles a person will play in their lifetime. Yet, when we talk about caregiving we tend to focus on the challenges caregivers face, instead of the special, intangible benefits.

According to the National Opinion Research Centre, 8 in 10 people reported their time caregiving as a positive experience*. From gaining a greater sense of purpose to new life skills, it’s clear that the benefits of caregiving don’t just apply to the recipient, but also those who provide the care. Here are a few of the wonderful benefits caregivers often experience:

Feeling Good – Caring for others provides benefits that most people often don’t experience at their day jobs. We all have a desire to feel needed and the role of caregiver does that, which is a great feeling. It also gives a greater meaning and purpose to our lives, helping us to refocus on the more important things in life – our relationships with the people we care about.

Feeling a Sense of Accomplishment - Taking care of someone else presents unique challenges and obstacles to overcome. Dealing with the difficult scenarios caregiving presents can be stressful, but working through the tough times can be very rewarding. No one ever thinks of helping others and bringing joy to their lives as a waste of time.

Feeling loved and building strong Relationships – Caring for others helps to develop empathy and the ability to connect with people, even in difficult times. For adolescents, family caregiving has been found to increase sibling activity/sharing, which is its own challenge altogether. The act of caring for another is so powerful because it creates deeper bonds as individuals lean on each other for emotional support.

Feeling valued and experiencing personal growth – Caregivers gain a variety of skills from their experiences. Taking care of someone else forces us to learn about the proper ways to do something, whether it’s preparing finances, or planning for the future. It also teaches important virtues such as patience, understanding and loyalty that benefit individuals in both their personal and professional lives.

While the task of caregiver presents many challenges, it’s clear that, with the right attitude, the benefits heavily outweigh any negatives. Caregiving presents a special opportunity to gain intangible benefits that last a lifetime. So the next time you start thinking about all the stressful aspects of being a caregiver, try to focus instead on all the amazing things you gain from it too.

* National Opinion Research Center, “Long Term Care in America: Expectations and Reality,” ResearchHighlights (May 2014).

Last revised: May 31, 2017

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Thoughts and stories from others
  1. April 18, 2021 at 9:14 am | Posted by Sia

    I'm prone to depression but had just gotten the hang of dealing with it via the routines I developed and my support system. Now my 74 year old mother wants to move in with me long term. She affects my mental health quite badly with the things she says but no one sees that. Because she n I are I the same country and the others are abroad I'm just the default caregiver. I can't do this and I feel I'm breaking down. What do i do?? There's no one here to help me. Only a lot of judgement from all relatives


    • May 17, 2021 at 12:39 am | Posted by Uji

      I think the best thing for you is to talk to her. Tell her that what she says makes you feel bad and have a proper discussion about it. If you can't do that, try talking to your therapist about it for solutions or something, and if all else fails, send her to a retirement home!


  2. September 1, 2020 at 6:21 am | Posted by Levi Armstrong

    I love that you said that one of the wonderful benefits of being a caregiver is that you get to feel good about yourself and have a more in-depth outlook on life. It's also great that you mentioned that it would bring purpose to my life. My grandmother was the one who raised since I was a baby, which is why I'm dearly close to seniors. Perhaps I should look into becoming a caregiver since I believe this career would be suited for me. Thanks for this!


  3. October 11, 2019 at 1:30 pm | Posted by high school student trying to write an essay

    what date was this published?


  4. August 18, 2019 at 7:36 am | Posted by sandra wilkinson

    i took care of my mother after my father died. she fell and broke her hip but came home from hospital. she had the bginnings of dementia and wa admitted to hospital with stomach problems. she died on my birthday 15 feb


  5. July 25, 2019 at 9:34 pm | Posted by Jennifer Jackson

    My husband and I took care of my grandma who had severe dementia we lived with her because she couldn't live alone any longer, she would pull knives on us and not recognize who we were. And then my mom got stage 4 cancer and my family and I took care of her and unfortunately had to watch her and go through a lot she just passed aon my birthday July 8th so I would like to help other people if possible


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