What is compassion fatigue?

While taking on the responsibility of caring for a family member is rewarding, it can also be incredibly challenging. Many family caregivers dismiss feelings of frustration or fatigue as they are worried about appearing selfish, but compassion fatigue should not be ignored. In this post, we’ll explore the signs of caregiver burnout and provide information on how respite care in Manchester can benefit the whole family. 

Caring for others and yourself

Caring for others requires no shortage of patience, energy, and compassion. But when you’re caring for someone in addition to managing your own responsibilities and commitments, at some point you may feel burnt out! Many family caregivers feel guilty or ashamed to admit this but there’s absolutely nothing to feel ashamed about. At the end of the day, you’re human and it’s important to take care of yourself and your own needs too. 

Signs of caregiver burnout 

Caregiver burnout has a few tell-tale signs. Are you exhausted? Take a minute to listen to your body and assess how you’re really feeling. In moments of stress and busyness, many people neglect to sleep or self care. This can not only sabotage your ability to provide quality care, but it can also lead to long-term negative health consequences. 

Poor health is another sign of caregiver burnout. If you notice you’re getting sick more often, it’s likely due to a weakened immune system that’s triggered by stress and lack of sleep. 

Your mental health may also be suffering. Feeling like you’re missing out on your own life is a good indicator that you need to slow down. When you find yourself neglecting your own needs, remind yourself that your happiness is important too. 

Understanding compassion fatigue

Compassion fatigue often accompanies caregiver burnout. It’s defined by the sudden loss of empathetic feelings toward other people, such as the person you’re caring for. Experiencing compassion fatigue does not make you a bad person. It simply means that the part of your brain that’s responsible for sympathising with the emotions of others has shut down due to being overworked. Feeling exhausted and angry, or being socially isolated are clear signs that you need a break to recharge your batteries. 

How can respite care help?

Respite care is short-term professional care provided to temporarily relieve family caregivers of their caregiving duties. It allows family caregivers to rest, relax and recover from caregiver burnout so that when they return, they are able to once more provide high-quality care. While we understand that many family caregivers may feel hesitant about placing their loved one in the hands of a stranger, with our respite care services, you can relax knowing that your loved one is in good hands even when you can’t be there.

Our personalised services range from a sitting service for a few hours, up to 24-hour live-in care for as long as you need us. It’s a great way to make family caregiving more sustainable without disrupting your loved one’s routine by moving them in a care home to receive the support they require in your absence. 

Get in touch 

If your family could benefit from our respite care services, we would be happy to discuss your options. Please feel free to get in touch or call us on 0161 929 6039 with any of your questions or concerns. Our friendly team is more than happy to help.