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Caregiver Burnout: What To Know And How To Avoid It

Nov 7, 2018 by Garrett Sullivan

When it comes time for you to assume the role of a caregiver, you do it out of love and compassion. When you assume this role, you may find that you are not providing yourself with the adequate time you need to care for yourself and this can lead to burnout and compassion fatigue.

Often, compassion fatigue is experienced when there is a lack of empathy and years ago, it was common in the healthcare setting as professionals would provide care to those who were either suffering or those who had a diminished quality of life. As the aging population continues to grow, individuals must take on the role as the caregiver and this can lead to burnout too.

In addition to a decrease in empathy, you may experience compassion fatigue in one of the following ways:

  • Difficult sleeping
  • Self-isolation
  • Anger, irritability, and anxiety
  • Feeling disconnected from others and the world
  • Trouble making decisions
  • Feelings of dread or guilt
  • Exhaustion, both mentally and physically
  • Trouble finding meaning in caregiving

Below, you will find some helpful tips for you as a caregiver to fight back and combat this type of fatigue.

  • Find a local support group in your community or search online for one
  • Document your feelings and thoughts in a journal
  • Talk to a counselor or therapist about your feelings
  • Choose healthy activities to keep you active
  • Understand and learn to recognize the first signs of compassion fatigue and address them
  • Maintain your social connections and friendships
  • Practice a self-care routine that includes adequate sleep, a healthy diet, and exercise

Self-care is important and as a caregiver you need as much time to yourself as you can get. If you are in need of help with respite care or any other type of care for your loved one, reach out to Comfort Keepers at your earliest convenience. 

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