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American Stroke Foundation

Caregiver ResourcesThe Positive Effects of Caregiving

The Positive Effects of Caregiving

Caregivers are often referred to as ”the backbone” of the healthcare system or the ”hidden patient’s,” because their needs are often unrecognized or ignored by healthcare professionals post-stroke.

The “Hidden Patients” (0:14-1:11)

Each year, thousands of individuals are thrust into a caregiving role. Caregivers are often referred to as ”the backbone” of the healthcare system or the ”hidden patients,” because their needs are often unrecognized or ignored by healthcare professionals post-stroke. This care can be detrimental because health outcomes of caregivers are often directly related to the recovery and health of the care recipients cognitively, physically, and psychologically. If the caregiver is doing poorly, the care recipient typically is doing poorly as well, and vice versa.

Positive Aspects of Caregiving (1:12-2:03)

Studies have shown that many people report positive experiences with caregiving. These include reports of a sense of purpose, gaining new valuable skills, and the value and joy in the learning process.  Caregivers report a better ability to problem solve and collaborate during this process

What is needed for positive outcomes to occur? (2:04-3:35)

Emotional and social supports from extended family, friends, churches, support groups and time for self-care are needed. Caregivers also need to be attentive to their own wellness and pay attention to their own health needs. Problem-based and emotion-focused coping have been identified as the most beneficial ways to handle stressors.

Closing message (3:36-4:03)

No one can be a caregiver and not become a stronger, more resilient person. A lot of the skills, coping mechanisms, and knowledge that you gain from caregiving will translate to other parts of your life and make you a more well-rounded, understanding, kind, and incredible individual. While it can be difficult to focus on the positive aspects of caregiving, especially during a pandemic when everything feels amplified, remember how important, loved, and valued you are.

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