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Personal Rewards of Caregiving

Gina Flores
Caregiver Advocate | Shield HealthCare
04/24/12  9:12 PM PST

Caregiver Story Spotlight | Shield HealthCare “What Makes Caregiving Rewarding?” Contest

Story by Pamela S.

Although there are so many special people that actually know from a very young age their goal in life is to care for others, the circumstances of life and close family members in need are what truly influence and continue to grow the caregiving profession. The “art of caregiving” can be taught and an education can be derived from it. However, the true motivation behind devoted caregivers is love.

My story of love started in early 2004 when my Mother (who was the caregiver of my severely disabled adult daughter) became ill at age 82 with pneumonia. There was no question in my mind as to who would care for her and my daughter at the same time…it was my destiny and I accepted it with complete commitment. Unfortunately, after five months of devoted caregiving, my mother passed away and my new role was to continue exceptional and loving care of my quadriplegic daughter, Amber.

So, to answer the question of rewards involved for me personally, there are too many to be able to describe. However, I will attempt to summarize those rewards that mean the most to me personally with the hope of providing other caregivers or people finding themselves in similar situations some validation for making an unscheduled “u-turn” in a planned lifestyle.

Personal rewards that have blessed me in my journey through life as a caregiver:

1. Returning some of the resolute LOVE my mother gave to me during my life with her

2. Providing a CLEAN and SAFE environment

3. Knowing how much I do for someone unable “to do” means to that person

4. Understanding there is more to life than simple possessions

5. Feeling a type of fulfillment that can only be gained from a deep and devoted love

6. Satisfaction knowing no one could do any more

7. Finding a strength within myself that I did not know I had

8. Fulfilling a spiritual desire to do my part to help in a world with so much suffering

9. Giving humility and self-esteem to persons unable to obtain these human needs for themselves

So, when you try to quantify rewards of caregiving, they all come back to one thing. LOVE.

No matter the circumstances of the need for caregiving, whether a sudden illness with a friend or family member or just a dedicated professional that has chosen that particular path and profession in life, the PURPOSE and REWARD is the same: love and respect for life of those in need.

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