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How Does Being a Caregiver Have Positive Psychological Effects?

From caregiver burnout to the risk of social isolation, you’ve probably heard about the potential emotional pitfalls associated with being a family caregiver. But there are some positive psychological perks related to caring for a senior loved one you may not be aware of. Keep reading to learn how being a caregiver can also be psychologically rewarding and satisfying.

Bonding with Your Loved One as an Adult

One of the joys of being a family caregiver is the ability to connect with your loved one as an adult, especially if you’re caring for an older parent. Fortunately, there are many ways to do this while providing care, some of which include:

• Having meaningful conversations while helping with various tasks
• Participating in enjoyable activities together
• Celebrating accomplishments and successes (e.g., regaining some independence with the use of assistance devices)

If providing care for your loved one has become challenging, consider hiring a professional caregiver. Families looking for top-rated Anchorage homecare providers can reach out to Home Care Assistance. From respite care to specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care, there are many ways we can make life easier for seniors and their loved ones.

Creating Pleasant, Meaningful New Memories

What’s also good about caring for a loved one is the many opportunities you’ll have to make new memories you’ll both cherish. For instance, you might have fun cooking or baking or encourage your loved one to get back into favorite hobbies. Even jogging your loved one’s memory by bringing out old photo albums can give you an emotional lift by creating new memories to treasure.

Seeing Your Loved One Respond Well to Care

Watching your loved one become more independent, respond well to home-based therapy, or become more socially engaged can certainly provide you with a psychological boost. As you care for your loved one, take a moment now and then to appreciate the noticeable ways your efforts are making a difference and having a positive impact.

Caring for a senior loved one can be rewarding, but it can also be overwhelming for family caregivers who have other responsibilities they need to focus on. Whether you need respite from your caregiving duties or your aging loved one needs 24-hour care, Anchorage, AK, Home Care Assistance can meet your family’s care needs. Our dedicated caregivers are available around the clock to provide transportation to doctor’s appointments, ensure seniors take their prescribed medications, and help with a variety of tasks in and outside the home.

Mutually Enjoying the Physical & Psychological Benefits of Exercise

The American Psychological Association points out that exercise has proven physical and psychological benefits. As a caregiver, one of your tasks will likely involve helping your loved one find comfortable and effective ways to get regular exercise. By walking, practicing yoga, swimming, or participating in other forms of exercise with your loved one, both of you may benefit from:

• A natural boost in mood thanks to higher levels of “feel-good” hormones called endorphins
• A reduced risk of depression or anxiety
• Increased self-esteem and self-confidence
• Enhanced mental clarity thanks to better sleep

Experiencing Personal Growth

When you first start caring for your loved one, you may have doubts about your ability to fulfill this role. However, if you find a healthy balance in your life and get into a productive and meaningful rhythm, you may experience personal growth by:

• Building your ability to be empathetic
• Being responsive to your loved one’s needs
• Learning how to be compassionate and caring even when facing challenging situations

Increasing the Meaning & Purpose in Your Life

Being a caregiver can make you feel needed and appreciated while also giving you an increased sense of meaning and purpose. While you definitely want to encourage your loved one to remain as independent as possible, there’s something to be said for knowing you’re playing an important role in boosting his or her overall quality of life. 

One of the most challenging tasks of helping an elderly relative age in place safely and comfortably is researching agencies that provide homecare services. Turn to Home Care Assistance for reliable, high-quality in-home care for aging adults. We offer 24-hour live-in care for seniors who require extensive assistance, and we also offer respite care for family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties. If you need professional home care for your loved one, Home Care Assistance is just a phone call away. Reach out to one of our Care Managers today at (907) 770-0907.