Caregiving or caring for an elderly relative can often be seen as a very stressful, relentless, and draining job.
Studies have shown that caregiving can actually provide some hidden health benefits though. Lisa Fredman, an epidemiologist from Boston University studied the differences between caregivers, and non-caregivers in four locations.
Fredman found that caregivers were often more stressed, but had lower mortality rates than non-caregivers. Fredman conducted a study on about 900 women. Fredman’s results showed that caregivers often maintained stronger physical performance, and higher cognitive functioning than non-caregivers. Fredman’s study showed that caregivers scored significantly better on memory tests, and physical tests. The physical tests tested walking pace, grip strength, and the speed at which they could rise from a chair.
Dr. Fredman pointed out that caregiving “keeps people on their feet, up and going.” Constant moving, and exercise is known to improve people’s physical health and cognition. Caregiving also requires complex thought, such as monitoring medications, schedules, and financial responsibilities, all factors that can decrease cognitive decline.
It is safe to say that although caregiving can be seen as a stressful job, it also can have many health benefits. Being a caregiver can be a very rewarding job both physically and mentally. Caregivers get to enjoy the feeling of helping peoples’ loved ones who can no longer fully care for themselves.
Along with that, are many health benefits such as maintaining physical and cognitive capabilities, and over all lower mortality rates.
If you or anyone you know is interested in becoming a caregiver, please check out our caregiving job opportunities.