Rewarding

Not long ago
Caring Today magazine
conducted a study.
500 family caregivers
were asked about
their experiences.
As we all know,
studies like these often point out
the difficulties and dangers of this work.
The likelihood of increased stress.
The danger of depression.
The low levels of self-care.
So I studied the tabulations of their answers
with particular interest.
First, there was the issue of expectations.
46% of the 500 respondents
said they anticipated they would enjoy
the tasks associated with their caregiving.
How many actually did enjoy
doing what they did?
69%.
Isn’t that interesting?
They were also asked if they expected
to find their caregiving rewarding.
60% said they imagined they would.
How many really did find this true?
79%.
The other issue related to lifestyle.
When asked what feelings or actions
had increased as a result
of their becoming caregivers,
respondents reported the following:
33% said they felt more focused in life.
41% said they had become more organized.
And well over half—59% to be exact—
said the quality of the relationship
with the one in their care
had increased.
These findings in no way deny
the inherent strains and risks
associated with becoming a caregiver.
But they do force us to look at
other aspects of this work too.
Maybe the figures above
confirm our own experience.
Or maybe we’re among those
who experience less enjoyment
and less reward.
Either way, we can know two things:
We are not alone in our feelings.
And the possibility of increased closeness
and deepened meaning
unquestionably exists.

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One Response to “Rewarding”

  1. Sue Lanza Says:

    The paradox is so true. Caregivers often focus on the negative and challenging aspects of caregiving but there are many positives. One that always comes to mind for me is that you know, despite everything, that you are making a significant difference in someone’s life. How many jobs do we know that can claim that? Thanks for an interesting blog.
    Sue

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