Caregivers Article


Compassion Fatigue

Being a caregiver is hard work. Caregiving is not just “taking care” of another person, whether it be a spouse, parent or child, but it’s also about listening and seeing the stories of those we help.
The Compassion Fatigue Awareness Project www.compassionfatigue.org states that compassion fatigue is experiencing constant stress due to being in caregiving roles and exposure to trauma based needs. How do I know if I’m experiencing compassion fatigue? Here are some of the symptoms to look for:
 • Physical manifestations of pain
 • Insomnia
 • High blood pressure
 • Anxiety
 • Headaches/migraines
 • Irritability
 • Under or over-eating (each person is different)
 • Indigestion
 • Frustration with work or loved ones
 • Apathy
• Difficulty concentrating
 • Depression
• And much more
 How do I know if I’m experiencing the stress from these symptoms? Ask yourself:
 • Do I seem to be more stressed coming or going from work?
 • Do I think about the things encountered at work when at home?
 • Do I find reasons to not come in to work?
• Do I avoid certain assignments more than others because they are bothersome?
 • Do I find myself emotionally invested more than I should be?
 • Do I find that when leaving work I have headaches or stomach aches?
 Resilience is the key to helping us cope with compassion fatigue. What can I do?
 • Acknowledge your struggles
 • Express your feelings
 • Find support systems/people
• Identify self-care techniques
 • Have positive hobbies/activities separate from work
What can I do to take care of myself?
 • Spending time with loved ones/friends – not in a caregiving role
• Reading a book
 • Enjoying a nice dinner
 • Exercising
 • Time with your furry friends
 • Long walk
 • Vacation
 • Whatever helps you unwind!!
It is important for us to take care of ourselves so that we can take care of others. It has been said that “you are no good to others if you are not in a good place”. When we are in a good place we are most effective and we are most authentic in helping others. The Compassion Fatigue website gives a lot of good information, resources and suggested readings to assist us in recognizing and helping us with compassion fatigue. For more information, go to: http://www.compassionfatigue.org Permission to use information given by Compassion Fatigue Awareness Project.

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QUESTIONS

  • I need info pertaining to my rights power of attorney for my father and how to keep ex-stepmother from getting his pension.
  • Is it legal for a caregiver to take funds from their patients and can you give case precedents? Also does this apply to power of attorney too?
  • I have been mostly supported by my spouse the last few years. After a heart attack, I am no longer able to work and trying to get on social security so I can eventually receive medicare. Social security told me that I have not worked enough quarters the last 15 years to qualify. What about all the years before that?
  • My boyfriend's grandmother moved in with us about a year ago. We go on vacation in NY every year. She wants to stay here alone. Her doctor said she was no longer able to live alone.I don't want her to stay here alone:. My boyfriend is her POA and he is okay with her staying here while we are gone. My question is if anything happens to her while we are away., such as a fall, fire, break in anything really are we liable? What are the laws on this and where can I find information on my legal responsibility?
  • I have conservatorship and guardianship for my dad. I am the trustee of my dad`s trust. how do I get him out of the court system?
  • Can a sister who has power of attorney,request that the assistant living facility where our elderly mother resides, take my name(mother's son) off of the emergency / hospital notification list? What is the legal procedure to get this reversed?
  • If a single adult is injured and unable to make any decisions, will the court appoint a family member to become their guardian? If so, how is this done?
  • I have Durable Power of Attorney for my mother who is in a nursing home. Does this obligate me for her debts?
  • Is it legal for a caregiver to take funds from their patients and can you give case precedents? Also does this apply to power of attorney too?
  • My late husband suffered from Alzheimer's Disease when he borrowed money and signed documents that deeded his home to another person. That person refuses to return title of the home to my late husband's estate even though the loan was paid off in full. What are my rights?

STORIES

  • He told me that I could actually get all the money I needed by using my home as collateral. . .
  • If you get a divorce, make sure your date of birth is on the Decree if your name is changing!. . .
  • He told me that I could actually get all the money I needed by using my home as collateral. . .

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