What’s the most rewarding thing about caregiving?

November 26, 2017


We all talk about how rewarding — and challenging — caregiving can be, but we rarely talk about why it’s so rewarding.

Here’s what our community members find the most rewarding about the care they provide.

My 38 year old son’s smile after I kiss him good night each night. I have been caring for him since birth and I know I have made his life as best as it could be. He goes to sleep happy, wakes up smiling and he has given me more in 38 years than I could ever give him. Sure, I get stressed and tired but I am content. I know I made a difference. – DS

I lost my husband on October 3rd 2017, after many health issues since 2007… Stroke, heart attack, open heart surgery and many others.

I am so glad I made a difference knowing I gave it all I had.

We loved, laughed, and made some great memories through it all. He was able to see his grandkids grow and they were able to know their grandpa.

We were all together at the end… I feel calm and at peace knowing this. God Bless all caregivers. – TL

My adored Mum’s love and our precious time we were blessed to have with her. We laughed, cried, got angry with each other, spoke from our hearts and forgave. – MT

My 12 year old smiling… the road of a caretaker is difficult and lonely at times… but when he smiles at me nothing else matters. – FM

The blessing to me was that I could just be with my family and have the time they had left with them. It was actually a privilege to care for them & it gave me a lot of memories I wouldn’t have had otherwise. And who better to care for my mom than one she brought into this world herself. As for my husband, I began a new life with him when I married him and when he passed that was the only marriage I would have. Never even thought of another, just wouldn’t work. I’ve come to realize how precious “time” is–never enough. – MH

I take care of my aunt who has Alzheimers. The best part is knowing she doesn’t want anyone else down there with her but me. – TH

Knowing in your heart that you’ve made a difference and it radiates back to you through their love and appreciation. – DG

The most rewarding thing for me was getting to spend time with my mom–time I could never get back if I had spent it doing something else. Memories created that will get me through the hard times ahead. And I have the knowledge that she trusted me to do what was best for her when she could no longer make decisions for herself. – LH

Knowing that what you’re doing is making a difference. Sometimes it’s a small difference & sometimes it’s big, but every bit of it matters. – SP

For me it’s doing end of life care, knowing that I’ve made that person feel comfortable and loved and making sure that they don’t pass alone. – AG

The thanks and appreciation I get from my husband and dad. Knowing that I’m “saving” them from the nursing home which they so dreadfully fear. Being told how much they love me for what I do for them! – TS

Knowing that I’m taking care of my family, helping in all ways I can, and knowing that my sister gets the best care she could get because I am family and she is loved. Even if she drives me crazy sometimes. – AB

Knowing that at the end of my shift i gave the best quality of care i could and that my residents are safe and happy. That we are both blessed to have each other. – PB

I have had five daughters , one of them is 44 years old and has brain damage. She will never reach beyond the age mentally of a 7 to 9 year old child. I have wished many times that all of my children were just like her. All she has ever given me is, “LOVE, LOVE, LOVE. She is so giving not only to me but to everyone. she never goes to her program with out taking something for someone there. I am so lucky that she chose me to be her mother. – MB

The knowing that my mother still had some quality of life in her last years. That she was with someone (myself) who truly cared about her and loved her. – DH

The growth within yourself after facing challenges you never dreamed and completing them somehow!..and also so fulfilling in the sense that you gave of yourself to help that person… – CJ

For me, it’s that my son is shown the respect, love, & dignity he deserves. I am thankful that GOD has allowed me more time. Nothing like JuD’s hug & smile. – TF

For me its knowing that I’ve made them smile, encouraged them drink enough fluids and eat well and knowing they are okay before I finish my shift. – CR

Knowing at the end if my shift I have done everything possible to ensure the residents are well comfortable clean and content. – LN

Diagnosing health issues before doctors do! And witnessing the progress so rapidly! The love and gratitude you receive! Priceless! – PF

I enjoy taking care of my 23 yr. old son. We have our ups and downs but overall we’re always there for each other. – CP

Knowing that I am helping someone that can’t do certain things for themselves. It’s called putting love into action. – LN

Receiving praise on how pretty my mom looked from many strangers who may or may not have known she had ALZ! – DF

Seeing my mom having a good day, also doing stuff together and getting to know her as a person, not just as Mom. – LO

That my mom appreciates me being there for her living with her. She thanks me. – PL

Their smiles at the end of the day…? – PB

Written by Allison Powell
I live off of food from Trader Joe's. I spend my life in a cubicle, a la Office Space. I'm kind of obsessed with the internet. Confession: I take care of people but don't identify as a caregiver.

Related Articles

A simple loss

A simple loss

It doesn't rhyme with purpose But that's what it is Or inspiration But that, too You've lost it. In the middle of everything else, that one thing,...

Popular categories

After Caregiving
Finding Meaning
Finding Support

Don't see what you're looking for? Search the library

Share your thoughts


  1. Caring for my loved one daily has been a gift to both of us! It has brought us closer than ever, we are a very strong team. We have learned to appreciate the truly important things and not sweat the small stuff any longer.

    I’ve also managed to transition into a new profession as a result. I was a marketing consultant for many years and when John got sick I started taking classes to benefit us which transitioned into a new career as a health and wellness coach working with caregivers and stressed out moms.

  2. Knowing that there is no place in the world you need to be, or nothing else you need to be doing other than seeing your loved one through this time in their life. Especially if the situation is terminal. Exception would be work to enable food water shelter etc.

  3. The smile that is so hard to give anymore!

  4. The reward is in the giving of ones self out of love and compassion .. seeing your loved one make progress at times although it may just be a small thing that may go unnoticed to others ..

  5. It’s rewarding to me every time I see my daughters smile & do something anyone ever expected her to be able to do again!


Share your thoughts and experiences

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Join our communities

Whenever you want to talk, there’s always someone up in one of our Facebook communities.

These private Facebook groups are a space for support and encouragement — or getting it off your chest.

Join our newsletter

Thoughts on care work from Cori, our director, that hit your inbox each Monday morning (more-or-less).

There are no grand solutions, but there are countless little ways to make our lives better.

Share your insights

Caregivers have wisdom and experience to share. Researchers, product developers, and members of the media are eager to understand the nature of care work and make a difference.

We have a group specifically to connect you so we can bring about change.