16 Caregiver Quotes for Inspiration and Encouragement
These insightful caregiver quotes can provide a small dose of inspiration and encouragement for people at every stage of the caregiving journey.
Comforting caregiver quotes
Caregiving can be incredibly isolating, but the truth is caregivers are not alone.
Nearly one in every five U.S. adults provides unpaid care to another adult with medical or functional needs, according to the National Alliance for Caregiving (NAC) and AARP. Though challenging, taking care of others is vital to public health and well-being, particularly as the Baby Boomer generation ages.
Yes, caregiving is common. However, it’s still often thankless. The toll of physically and emotionally tending to another adult’s needs can lead to caregiver burnout, along with chronic stress, restless sleep, and even back pain.
Caregiver resources like therapy, support groups, and stories from other caregivers can help. Of course, some days, you only have time for a small boost of encouragement.
So, from singers to authors to teachers, here are 16 caregiver quotes to inspire and offer valuable perspective.
Four kinds of people
“I like to say that there are only four kinds of people in the world. Those who have been caregivers. Those who are currently caregivers. Those who will be caregivers, and those who will need caregivers.” —Rosalyn Carter, former First Lady of the United States
Caregivers are an integral part of society. To be a caregiver is to help keep the universe in order, to nurture the future through caring for children, and to foster dignity and respect by caring for seniors. Caregivers, you matter!
Attitude is everything
“It is not the load that breaks you down. It’s the way you carry it.” —Lena Horne, American dancer
One of the most common weight-lifting mistakes is improper form. The same could be said for carrying life’s greatest burdens.
Like many other inspirational quotes, this caregiver quote could motivate some people while making others feel inadequate. If you fall into the latter category, think of it this way: Adjusting your caregiving attitude or actions is as helpful to you as the person you’re caring for.
Rather than a “fake it till you make it” mentality, take one minute a day to tend to your happiness. After all, you’re worth caring for, too.
Choosing to sing
“Some days there won’t be a song in your heart. Sing anyway.” —Emory Austin, talk-show host
Caregiver burnout is real and debilitating. Self care is often easier said than done. But whether today is a difficult day or a surprisingly easy one, you have at least one resource in your arsenal: gratitude.
Choosing to “sing”—to give thanks or find the beauty in a difficult situation—is a free, psychotherapist-approved way to chase the blues away.
A superhuman kind of love
“Caregiving often calls us to lean into love we didn’t know possible.” —Tia Walker, author
Every caregiver’s story is unique. But what ties them together is the pain and anxiety of being thrown into what often feels like an impossible situation. Sometimes all the medicines in the world won’t cure a sick person.
Sometimes there just isn’t enough time in the day to take good care of yourself while bathing, clothing, and feeding someone else. When you’re able to love that other person deeply despite the toll it takes on your life, you know you possess a superhuman kind of love.
Caregiving gives you courage
“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” —Lao Tzu, ancient Chinese philosopher and writer
Think of it this way: As a caregiver, you have the power to offer strength while fortifying your own courage. Those who care for others in their darkest, most vulnerable moments are brave. Courageous. Strong.
Of course, sometimes it also takes courage to delegate or set boundaries as a caregiver. If that sounds like you, check out these 16 quotes about boundaries that will help you say “no.”
Caregivers are heroes
“The simple act of caring is heroic.” —Edward Albert, American actor
Not all heroes wear capes, as the saying goes. Caregivers heroically advocate for their loved ones, sacrifice their time and social lives, and dedicate themselves to tending to someone else, no matter how mundane the task at hand.
But we know being a hero can be lonely and busy. That’s why, in addition to this list of caregiver quotes, we rounded up 16 balance quotes for when you’re feeling stressed.
Laughter and sleep are the best medicines
“A good laugh and a long sleep are the two best cures for anything.” —Irish proverb
Navigating someone else’s medical needs can be overwhelming. Sometimes it feels like when it rains, it pours.
Other times, all the tiny tasks you’ve taken on add up to an absurd amount of work. Laughter helps, especially when your loved one can join in. If you can fit in a little laughter and rest every day, your body and mind will thank you!
A caregiver’s mantra
“My caregiver mantra is to remember: The only control you have is over the changes you choose to make.” —Nancy L. Kriseman, author
This caregiver quote might remind you of a song lyric from Michael Jackson: “If you wanna make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and make the change.”
Some caregivers self-sabotage by buying into the belief they will never be enough or are unworthy of self care. When you’re not taking good care of yourself, it’s easy to spiral into negative thought patterns or fixate on all the things you wish were different.
There’s no easy fix, but remembering that you can only control your reactions—not all outcomes—is a first step.
Caregiving balances love and responsibility
“The day the roles reverse is foreign. It’s a clumsy dance of love and responsibility, not wanting to cross any lines of respect. It’s honoring this person who gave their life to you—not to mention literally gave you life—and taking their fragile body in your hands like a newborn, tending to their every need.” —Lisa Goich-Andreadis, author, journalist, and talk-radio host
One year, you’re simply talking to your aging parents about their health. The next, you’re caring for their bodies as they cared for yours as a child. The role reversal is never easy, but it can still be filled with grace and dignity.
Caregiving honors parents
“To care for those who once cared for us is one of the highest honors.” —Tia Walker
Keeping your parents safe and healthy isn’t always easy. But to step into the role of family caregiver for your mom or dad is a loving way to honor them.
(Here are 7 signs your aging loved one needs more help ASAP—and what to do about it.)
Caregiving will change you
“Caregiving leaves its mark on us. No matter what we do to prepare ourselves, the hole left behind looms large.” —Dale L. Baker, author
If you are caring for someone who is terminally ill, you’re probably also experiencing anticipatory grief. Grief and caregiving are both heavy loads to bear.
Remind yourself that you’re doing the best you can, that this too shall pass, and that there will be glimmers of hope and light in your “new normal,” too.
The role of caregivers
“Doctors diagnose, nurses heal, and caregivers make sense of it all.” —Brett H. Lewis, author
As a caregiver, you probably attend a lot of medical appointments. You might help a loved one organize their pillbox each week or dispense vitamins and prescription medications each morning and evening.
You make sure doctor’s orders are fulfilled and nurses’ suggestions are followed. Take a moment to pat yourself on the back, because caregivers wear a lot of hats!
In the end …
“We’re all just walking each other home.” —Ram Dass, American spiritual teacher
Ram Dass was a teacher, spiritual guru, and psychologist who had a way with words. He focused extensively on death and dying—how to remain present and how to make peace with death.
His teachings have long encouraged mourners, terminally ill patients, and yes, caregivers. If you have the honor and privilege of caring for a dying loved one, you know it can be a mutually beneficial relationship. Maybe in the end, as Dass wrote, you’re both walking each other home.
How do you make others feel?
“They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel.” —Carl W. Buechner, American writer and preacher
Caregiving often feels like a series of mundane tasks. It might help to remember you are doing impactful, life-affirming work.
Whether someone is ill for a time or experiencing a terminal illness, their life is made better and more dignified by good caregivers. So even if you’re not sure what to say to a sick patient or loved one, your actions matter.
Perspective is everything
“Things turn out best for those who make the best of the way things turn out.” —Anonymous
There is controversy over who first penned or spoke these words. Regardless of the author, the quote is still true today. These 15 quotes about positive thinking or 33 inspiring quotes from cancer survivors might also help inspire you to look at your situation through a new, more optimistic lens.
(Next, check out 16 meditation quotes to ground you.)
Love is unselfish
“Love is unselfishly choosing for another’s highest good.” ―C.S. Lewis, British writer
C.S. Lewis lost his wife, Joy Davidson, to metastasized breast cancer just four years after the two married. Soon after, he wrote A Grief Observed. Lewis, like many before him, was brought to his knees by the loss of a person coupled with the loss of a role so pivotal to his identity.
“No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear,” the book begins. Caregivers are often intimately familiar with both grief and love—especially the kind of love Lewis spoke of in this quote. As a caregiver, you know to strive for another’s highest good.
- The National Alliance for Caregiving (NAC) and AARP: "Caregiving in the US 2020"