It’s been said that “The only way to do a great job is to love what you do.” In our experience, we’ve found that this axiom applies to great caregivers. Over the years, we’ve introduced some wonderful people to the caregiver career and have watched them flourish. Without exception, if you ask them how they feel about being a professional caregiver, they’ll tell you they love it.
What is it about caregiving that they find so rewarding? Based on our experience, here are five reasons we hear most from caregivers about why they are so passionate about their careers.
1. Work From a Home Environment
Who doesn’t hate office drama, uncomfortable clothing, or overbearing managers? Caregivers don’t have to report to an office or other type of worksite; they perform their craft in the homes of adults who need a caring person to help them age in place, instead of a nursing home or other type of institution.
Most of your daily duties are the same tasks you probably perform at home – cooking, light housekeeping, companionship and maybe an occasional reminder to take medication. You’re simply doing what you do for yourself for others who now find it difficult to perform those tasks.
2. Become a Part of a New Family
Many caregivers form a special bond with both the client and the client’s family. They become honorary family members because of the care they provide that would otherwise fall on the family.
The adult children of clients are particularly appreciative of caregiver assistance. Your being there allows them to live their lives without having to worry about an aging parent. A caregiver provides peace of mind to the entire family.
3. Meet People with Incredible Stories
Most of your clients will be older adults who have some amazing stories to tell. They have a vast amount of life experience and you’ll enjoy hearing their history and how people lived in past decades, as well as tales of places they’ve been and people they’ve met.
Clients love to share their experiences and they love to hear about yours. It won’t take long for you to feel comfortable talking about your own adventures and sharing stories about your travels and experiences.
4. Have Flexibility and Independence
As a caregiver, you have a tremendous amount of flexibility with your schedule. You choose the number of hours, time of day and days of the week that meet your needs and will work for your client.
For example, you may have family obligations that make it necessary for you to work from 9 am until 4 pm Monday through Thursday. Working with an agency affords you the opportunity to be paired with a client that your schedule will work well with.
5. Make a Difference in Someone’s Life
There are very few careers where you can say that you’re truly making a difference. Caregivers allow people to age with dignity in the place they feel safest – their own home. You provide the compassionate, one-on-one care that people don’t receive in a facility—the work you do matters.