What Family Caregivers Need To Know About Compassion Fatigue and How In Home Respite Care Can Help Your Family in State College, PA
In home respite care can help ease the burden of compassion fatigue on family caregivers in State College, PA and the surrounding areas
Providing care is certainly one of the most noble and rewarding things a person can do for their senior loved one. However, when family caregivers neglect their personal needs and bring themselves to the point of physical and emotional burnout, they may feel something they’ve never felt before – a decrease in empathy toward their aging loved one. The condition is known as compassion fatigue and our in home respite care services aim to help ease this burden.
In the past few decades, compassion fatigue was primarily seen in healthcare professionals. However, as our nation’s aging population continues to grow rapidly there is an increasing number of family care providers who face the same problem.
Besides the lower threshold of empathy, family caregivers going through compassion fatigue may experience the following:
- Physical and/or emotional exhaustion
- Feelings of dread and/or guilt
- Anxiety and/or anger
- Difficulty sleeping
- Difficulty making decisions
- Feeling disconnected
- Questioning the meaning of caregiving
According to The Compassion Fatigue Awareness Project, the worst symptom of compassion fatigue is denial as it prohibits family caregivers from examining their feelings and resolving their situation. Ignoring compassion fatigue may cause feelings of resentment toward the loved one who is cared for and lead to a strained relationship. To make matters worse, compassion fatigue can also interfere with personal relationships outside the caregiving spectrum, affecting the emotional and social well-being of a family caregiver.
To shed some light on the problem, Comfort Keepers conducted research in collaboration with the Stanford Center on Longevity and ClearCare. The results indicated that individuals who provide care for a loved one with advanced care needs often experience poor emotional well-being as they are prevented from maintaining their social lives as they used to.
It is important that family caregivers recognize the signs of compassion fatigue and consider certain self-care options, including in home respite care, which may help them feel positive about caregiving again. The following steps can help successfully combat compassion fatigue:
- Acknowledging the warning signs of compassion fatigue
- Adhering to a self-care regimen comprising of a well-balanced diet, exercise, and a good night’s rest
- Taking the time to re-connect with friends and maintain social relationships
- Finding an online support group or community-based support program
- Documenting how you feel about caregiving in a journal
- Opting for healthy activities during your downtime
- Seeking professional help from a counselor or a therapist
In Home Respite Care Can Help
At Comfort Keepers, we understand the importance of relationships family care providers have with their loved ones. To help maintain them, we offer quality in home respite care and home care services that allow primary care providers to take the time they need to focus on respite and self-care while having absolute peace of mind knowing their parent is well looked after.
If you or a loved is experiencing compassion fatigue and could benefit from utilizing in home respite care services please contact us online or call us today at (323) 430-9803 to schedule a complimentary care consultation.