Did you know that caring for your aging or ill loved ones can actually be good for your health?
While it can be challenging at times to care for your elderly parents, here are a few benefits you will reap from doing just that:
- You will be helping them with task such as housekeeping, bathing and other things they may not be able to do for themselves.
- Even performing “passive” caregiving tasks like talking on the phone or setting up a video chat or even “just being there” for them elicits happy emotions in most individuals.
- It is in our nature to want to provide help.
- It’s a great way to help your children connect with their grandparents
- You’re setting a great example for your children on how families care for one another.
The long-term care of an aging loved one or even a spouse who has fallen ill can bring with it an overwhelming sense, but if you’re able to take time and step away on occasion you may find that it is rewarding to offer your assistance. Caring for an aging loved one doesn’t have to be a chore – it can be an event that brings you closer together. It may also create a time that you will look back upon and cherish for the memories you’ve built together.
Helping promote a sense of ease and providing value to a loved one during either a time of medical crisis or simply when it becomes difficult for them to age in place, is the time when you and your family members can band together for the good of everyone.
A study published several years ago in the journal, Psychology and Aging, showed that there were “positive aspects of caregiving, aspects that didn’t provoke burnout, high stress or poor health that is typically associated with being a caregiver.”
It was found that even though there is a “burdensome nature” in the role of caregiver, many of those same caregivers experienced positive emotions and fewer negative feelings when they were involved in active care roles. Those active roles included, bathing, helping their loved one with other bathroom tasks, caring for the home and providing emotional support. “Passive care” the study found, was more likely to provoke a negative emotion than the “active care” did.
When you’re a caregiver, burn out is an almost natural extension, but try to gauge your emotions when you’re actively involved in the care of your loved one and you just might be surprised to find out how happy it makes you!