man in wheelchair with happy caregiver
Lucky Business/Shutterstock

WELLthier Living and Aging

Mar 04, 2021

WELLthier Living and Aging

How Do Caregivers Develop Resilience?

Aug 16, 2022

Resilience is the ability to adapt to difficult situations. Resilient caregivers find the strength to continue to help others, even in the face of adversity. How do caregivers develop resilience?

Based on research and practice, I have created a model of caregiver resilience. In this model, caregiver resilience is developed across five domains represented by “R” words: Roles, Relationships, Realities, Rewards, and Readiness.

caregiver resilience Dr. Aaron Blight

  • Understanding ROLES involves making adjustments to an emerging caregiving story. Resilient caregivers learn what it means to fulfill a caregiving role. They know that the care receiver didn’t choose to be in this position, and they socially adapt to the changing conditions of their loved one.
  • Honoring RELATIONSHIPS allows caregivers to nurture, and continue to be present, for the important people in their lives. While the functions of caregiving may change the nature of interactions between participants, the historic relational bond between caregivers and their loved ones motivate resilient caregivers to continue to be there.
  • Confronting REALITIES enables caregivers to deal with the hard parts of caregiving. Instead of denial or discouragement, resilient caregivers realistically assess and strive to overcome the challenges they experience while caregiving. Although some things cannot be changed, acknowledging and embracing what is hard enables caregivers to endure and occasionally triumph.
  • Cultivating REWARDS opens the mind and heart to the good parts of caregiving. Sometimes adversity reveals unexpected blessings, such as personal growth, moments of joy, paradigm shifts, or enhanced relationships. Resilient caregivers seek and recognize the good even as they struggle with the bad.
  • Practicing for READINESS is how caregivers prepare themselves to offer appropriate support to their loved ones. Resilient caregivers are not innately endowed with the ability to deliver the tasks of caregiving; it is only through practice (trial and error) that they develop the sustainable capacity to do what is physically required for a loved one in need.

This model of caregiver resilience allows caregivers and the professionals who support them to review a current care situation, impose a frame on it, and assess the implications. It’s a learning model. By examining a care situation in this manner, the reflective caregiver or practitioner can identify problematic areas, formulate strategies for improvement, and evaluate progress over time.


Caregiving Kinetics. (2021, February 4). How do caregivers develop resilience?

Advanced Search on this topic

Other Articles in this category

Aug 08, 2022 | WELLthier Living and Aging
Our bodies give us countless clues about what they need and how to keep them well. We use many dietary theories in our nutritional practice to create…
Jul 19, 2022 | WELLthier Living and Aging
We sleep 20% less than we did 100 years ago and current statistics show that 2 million children have trouble sleeping! Insomnia affects 1/3 of us at…
Jun 21, 2022 | WELLthier Living and Aging
Research shows that men, mostly due to their masculinity and competitiveness, are less likely to visit a nutritionist for health advice or do…
May 26, 2022 | WELLthier Living and Aging
Our skin reveals so much about what’s actually happening inside of our bodies. And wrinkles can tell us so much more than what was once thought…

Customer Service

KnoWEwell News Updates