Caregivers: Avoid compassion fatigue

national caregivers month

November is National Family Caregivers Month and the Department understand that caregiving is an all-consuming responsibility. When caregivers focus on others without practicing self-care, destructive behaviors can surface. Compassion fatigue can be a side effect of caring for someone in need and can cause physical and emotional exhaustion — reducing the ability to empathize.

When you overuse your compassion without taking time to regularly recharge, the ability to feel and care for others becomes worn down.

Common symptoms of compassion fatigue include:

  • Physical or emotional exhaustion (or both)
  • Dreading taking care of someone and feeling guilty about it
  • Feeling irritable, angry or anxious
  • Headaches
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Feeling disconnected
  • Problems in personal relationships

If you begin noticing any of these signs, the next step is to make yourself a priority and tend to, at the very least, some of your needs.

Our Non-Medicaid Home and Community Based Services include a range of services and solutions to help caregivers, such as:

  • Education and Support Groups
  • Adult Day Services
  • Mobile Day Care
  • Kinship Care Programs and more

The Division of Aging Services administers these services through the Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs). Contact your local AAA for more information.