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Caregiver Burnout Is Real & Needs To Be Addressed

Nov 7, 2018 by Garrett Hafler

Naturally, you want to provide care to the ones you love because, after all, you love them, and it is second nature. But, as a caregiver, there are some real side effects that can take over and you may find that you tend to neglect yourself as you take on the care of that special someone. Because of this, you may start to lack empathy and feel disconnected from yourself and others – this is known as compassion fatigue.

Compassion fatigue was most seen years ago in healthcare professionals as they would care for those who experienced a diminished quality of life or were suffering. However, as the aging population continues to grow, many individuals are starting to take on the role as a caregiver and provide much-needed support to their loved ones, the same way healthcare professionals often do.

In addition to decreased empathy, caregivers will often experience other signs of compassion fatigue such as:

  • Trouble making decisions, especially important ones
  • Self-isolation
  • Irritability, anxiety, and anger
  • Feeling disconnected
  • Feelings of dread or guilt
  • Exhaustion
  • Trouble finding meaning in caregiving
  • Difficulty sleeping

Below, you will find some helpful tips for you as a caregiver to take when you start to notice compassion fatigue. The earlier you notice and address it, the less likely it will become a problem.

  • Document your feelings or keep a journal
  • Choose healthy activities to engage in
  • Maintain your social life and friendships
  • Find a support program either in the community or online
  • Discuss your feelings with a counselor or therapist
  • Practice a self-care routine to include sleep, exercise, and a healthy diet

Self-care is more than important, especially as you serve in the role of a caregiver. You need as much help as you can get and the team at Comfort Keepers is here for you – call today or at your earliest convenience. 

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