Nov 22, 2018 by Katie Fielmann
Millions of American seniors receive daily care from family members in order to accomplish essential daily living tasks. Family caregivers can usually provide short-term care without much difficulty, but when the care becomes long-term, most family caregivers get burned out and experience a condition known as compassion fatigue. This does not mean the care they provide is not good, it means that the stress and strain of providing long-term care is really that difficult and without the proper support, even the best of family caregivers can end up quite sick, in the hospital, or worse.
Compassion fatigue refers to the condition that occurs when a caregiver overextends their physical, mental, or emotional capacity to help others without proper rest or time to recover. When family caregivers do not take time to refresh themselves, the stresses and pressures of care will likely lead to compassion fatigue.
Some of the most common early warning signs include increased anxiety and irritability, physical and mental fatigue, feelings of hopelessness, caregivers may find themselves getting angry at their loved one and losing the joy they once associated with care, and there may be a marked reduction in feelings of sympathy or empathy.
The good news is that by taking regular respites (short breaks designed to give care providers a chance to rest and recuperate) family caregivers can significantly decrease their likelihood of falling victim to compassion fatigue or worse. Even short breaks are enough to make a huge difference and Comfort Keepers’ in home health care can help make these breaks possible.
With Comfort Keepers’ in home health care support, family caregivers can truly use their breaks to rest since they have the assurance that their loved one is in the care of highly skilled and loving professionals who specialize in senior care. Not only do Comfort Keepers’ in home health care professionals provide respite services 24-hours a day, 365 days a year, they also specialize in areas of challenging care, such as dementia, Alzheimer's disease, ALS, and so forth.
For more information on compassion fatigue, respite care, or the many ways Comfort Keepers’ in home health care can support you and your senior loved one, contact a care coordinator today.
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