We’ve all heard stories about the stress involved with caring for an ill or elderly family member. Some studies suggest that this type of stress can even harm the caregiver's health. But, other studies are at odds with those findings with several even suggesting that there are emotional rewards and benefits to being a caregiver.
While it is well-known that the burden of caregiving can, at times, be overwhelming, a better representation of the overall caregiving experience often depends on other factors such as the circumstances associated with the caregiving situation. For example, taking care of someone with dementia can be more emotionally draining due to the long decline and the loss of cognitive function. In contrast, caring for someone who has been in an accident or suffered a stroke offers more rewards as you see the patient’s improvement and can take pride in your role in the recovery.
On the plus side, there are some people who naturally find caregiving to be a rewarding experience. Then there are adult children who feel that it's an opportunity to give back to the parents who were always there for them. Sometimes it just boils down to the situation. To learn more about the plus side of family caregiving, read this article from NPR.org.