Care as Therapy: The benefits of being a Caregiver

Published: 20/02/2019

Did you know that caring for other people can actually have health benefits for you? Our blog looks at the therapeutic benefits of being a care assistant. 

We often talk about the benefits of being cared for but the therapeutic benefits of being a caregiver are rarely discussed. When we think of family carers, the focus is usually on how hard they work and the stresses of looking after a loved one. While it’s true that caring for someone sometimes has its challenges, a huge number of carers find it one the most wonderful and rewarding experiences they’ve ever had. If you think about it, nurturing the ones you love is a natural instinct - it feels good to make those closest to us comfortable and happy.

In fact, many of our Bluebird Care Peterborough & Rutland team have joined us after experiencing what it’s like to care for a member of their own family. Understanding how much their work means to the person needing care is one major motivating factor for many of our staff deciding to work in homecare, but they also appreciate how great it feels to make a difference to someone else’s life. Now some new research into the carer’s role has confirmed what our care workers already know! Looking after someone else can have significant therapeutic benefits.
How does caring benefit the caregiver?
As a social species, humans are hard-wired to care for one another and get pleasure from doing so. We’ve all experienced that virtuous little glow after doing something nice for someone else! But the benefits go beyond that. They include: 
•    Lower levels of stress and anxiety
•    Feeling more socially connected to others
•    Higher self-esteem
By focussing on someone else’s needs rather than our own, we naturally become less self-absorbed and more empathetic towards others, which is never a bad thing! Caring for another person can also put our own problems and worries into perspective, giving us a more balanced and pragmatic outlook on life in general.

In their own words, here are just a few more reasons why our own, amazing Care Assistants wanted to work in homecare:

Maureen’s caring career began in earnest when she first left school and worked at a residential home for the mentally handicapped. After getting married, Maureen worked in a subsequent care home for some years before, son Thomas appeared.
After a career break to bring up Thomas, Maureen began to surf the internet for potential work options before stumbling across a recruitment advert offering a career in caring with Bluebird Care (Peterborough and Rutland). 
I think it is really important to treat customers how you yourself would like to be treated. What I enjoy about working for Bluebird Care is the variety it brings. Every customer needs something different. I strike up a good rapport with the customers I see regularly. It’s good to have this continuity and familiarity.
I get experience in all aspects of care and never get up and think ‘oh no - it’s work’, I just get on and enjoy my day. Sometimes it might be getting someone up and out of bed, or helping them get showered and dressed. I like to leave
their house tidy and the beds made if I can. I like the feeling of having helped someone, I know when I have done this it’s been a good day. I like to think people will be saying: Maureen’s here, we know he [their loved one] is in safe hands now! Also I might be the only person a customer will see all day, so it’s quite a responsibility. Maureen knows how grateful her customers are, “keeping calm when someone is really sick and knowing that you’ve assessed the situation well, gives me a sense of satisfaction. -Maureen

The benefits of a career in homecare
As well as feeling good about the care they give to our customers, our homecare workers also benefit from being a valued member of our close-knit and supportive team here at Bluebird Care Bromley. And the benefits never end - looking after both our customers and carer workers here in head office makes us feel pretty good too!

If you’d like to make a difference to others and find out more about our homecare job roles, our generous pay and benefits package or our current vacancies, just click on the links or give our team a call on 01780 480881.