What Does Compassion Fatigue Look Like for a Caregiver?
Compassion fatigue is something that people in the medical profession tend to experience. What you may not realize is that caregivers can experience it, too. Compassion fatigue shows itself when you’ve been giving more than you have to give for way too long.
When you’re in the midst of compassion fatigue, you are definitely fatigued. You’re exhausted physically, emotionally, and mentally. Being a caregiver means that you’re on the job constantly and you’re putting everything you’ve got into caregiving. You can’t keep doing that without allowing yourself to recharge at some point.
You Dread Caregiving and then Feel Awful
You may even get to the point at which you dread caregiving and everything associated with it. That’s normal, really, but once you do experience those feelings, your next response is to feel awful. That guilt and shame from experiencing that dread, even for a moment, can take a huge toll on you.
Your Emotions Are All Over the Place
As if the guilt and shame you’re experiencing aren’t enough, your emotions and your reactions are likely to be all over the map. You may find that you’re angry a lot or you’re just upset about everything. The flip side of this, especially if you’ve let this go on too long, is that you might start to feel as if your emotions have shut down. That’s your brain trying to protect you.
Your Health Is Suffering
All of this emotional stuff weighs on you and you may not be eating or sleeping the way that you need to be. From there, your physical health starts to take a beating. If you have your own health issues, they may be out of control at this point due to neglect. It’s vital that you start taking care of your physical well-being.
You Feel Disconnected from Everything and Everyone
As if all of this weren’t enough, you may also be feeling isolated and disconnected from all of the people that you know and love. This can be especially true if you don’t have other family members who can help you out with caregiving responsibilities. Learning how to reach out and making friends with other caregivers, especially through support groups, can help a lot.
You can recover from compassion fatigue and go back to being the caregiver that you want to be. But if you ignore these signs then you’re going to run the risk of permanently knocking yourself out of the running to be your senior’s family caregiver.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering Caregiver Services in Malibu CA, please contact the caring staff at Assisting Hearts Home Care today. Proudly Serving the Los Angeles & Ventura County. Call us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week! (805) 371-0033, (818) 593-0094, (310) 230-5601.
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