Caregiving can take a toll at times but acknowledging the positive aspects of caring for your loved one can be helpful. For some, caregiving provides a sense of meaning or purpose for life, produces pride, and is gratifying in allowing them to give back to someone else. Doing things both you and your loved one enjoys can make caregiving easier and less stressful. There are many joys in caregiving that are often overlooked such as:
Joy in Caregiving: #1 Listen to Tunes
Music has been known to bring strangers together at concerts and can bring family members even closer. While caregiving for your loved one, play them their favorite genre of music. This can help them, and yourself, bring peace, ease pain, energize, distract from anxiety, or trigger a spontaneous sing-along.
Joy in Caregiving: #2 Get out of the House
Whether you and your loved one are heading to a medical appointment, shopping, dinner, a movie, a ball game or just a car ride to get out of the house, approach it as an adventure. Be sure to plan ahead for parking or any restrictions your loved one may have. Bring along a friend or relative to lend a helping hand and make it fun!
Joy in Caregiving: #3 Play Games
Make game night a thing! Find games that you and your loved on will both enjoy! There is no limit fun when playing card, board, or word games. Try to work on crossword and jigsaw puzzles together. This will also help strengthen brain activity and function! Get creative and help pass time in a waiting room to take away some stress of a medical appointment.
Joy in Caregiving: #4 Make an Excuse to Party
Make holidays or even small occasions special. Each holiday, anniversary, or birthday offers an opportunity to decorate the home and make it festive, together. Your loved one will appreciate the effort and gesture. Celebrate small accomplishments like a successful shower or fastening their own buttons to large things like getting out of the hospital.
Joy in Caregiving: #5 Laugh Out Loud
Be silly. Tell jokes and reminisce on old family stories. Watch old home videos or go through family photo albums together. Laughing and sharing funny stories can lighten any mood and reduce stress levels.