Elderly man with walker and caregiver

Compassion Fatigue and Caregiver Burnout

Whether a person is caring for an ill family member, or is a professional caregiver, there are times when they can come to the end of their personal resources. Caregivers may find themselves exhausted, irritable, and impatient. They may lose interest in their work, or their own lives. They may come to resent those they care for.

Caregivers need to be cared for, and need to learn to protect themselves from emotional exhaustion. It is not always possible to do this, especially when you are dealing with crises situations. Or when your professional obligations constrain your freedom to take care of yourself.

One strategy for self care, is to seek professional assistance. That professional can provide a safe and nurturing place for you to express yourself, and understand the strain and demands that you have been dealing with. A professional can also provide another point of view, to find ways to re-charge your emotional batteries, and to build in safeguards to future burnout.