Compassion Fatigue in Family Caregivers in Hollywood, Miami, and the Surrounding Areas of Florida
Learn more about how caregivers in Hollywood, FL can cope with compassion fatigue
There is a sense of fulfillment and joy that comes with the responsibility of taking care of a senior loved one – the notion of being able to return all the love and affection you received in your childhood and youth. Unfortunately, many family caregivers often don’t find the time to recuperate or focus on their own needs, which can result in a condition known as compassion fatigue. Compassion fatigue describes physical, mental, and emotional burnout as well as a lack of empathy.
In the past, compassion fatigue was seen primarily in healthcare professionals. Today, there are many family caregivers who feel decreased empathy toward the senior loved ones they provide care for.
In addition to a reduced threshold of empathy, compassion fatigue can be accompanied by one or more of the following symptoms:
- Physical and emotional burnout
- Feelings of dread or guilt
- Irritability, anxiety or anger
- Difficulty sleeping
- Difficulty making decisions
- Feelings of disconnect or self-isolation
- Doubting the purpose and meaning of caregiving
According to The Compassion Fatigue Awareness Project, the worst symptom of compassion fatigue is denial. Denial prohibits family caregivers from accepting that they have a problem, and if the condition is ignored for an extended period of time, family care providers may come to resent their aging loved ones.
Compassion fatigue can also cause relationships with family or friends to suffer as well. A collaborative study conducted by the Stanford Center on Longevity, Comfort Keepers, and ClearCare, showed that individuals providing care to incapacitated loved ones experience poor emotional well-being as they are often unable to maintain their social lives.
The following steps can help family caregivers to recognize the extent of the problem, combat compassion fatigue successfully, and get back to feeling positive about providing care for a loved one:
- Understand the common signs and symptoms of compassion fatigue
- Adopt a self-care regimen that includes a balanced diet, frequent exercise, and consistent sleep
- Find the time for catching up with friends and maintaining social connections
- Find a caregiver support program, whether in the physical community or online
- Keep a journal of your thoughts and feelings related to caregiving
- Choose healthy activities during your free time such as meditation, yoga, or a favorite hobby
- See a counselor or a therapist to discuss your current feelings
Comfort Keepers Can Help
Comfort Keepers understands the value of relationships between aging loved ones and adult children and we want to help maintain them. Our respite care and senior in home care services offer you the opportunity to take the time you need to practice self-care and recuperate from caregiving while knowing your loved one is in expert hands.
Learn more about how we can help by calling our Hollywood, FL, office today at (954) 289-1938. Comfort Keepers is here for you!