Comfort Keepers News | January 29, 2021
Love for the Caregiver – Caring for others is often driven by motivations of love and understanding. It’s not uncommon for family caregivers to initially feel that their capacity for helping those they love is nearly limitless. From taking care of finances and managing medications to preparing meals and cleaning, there’s certainly a sense of fulfillment that comes along with assisting a loved one. But many find themselves going through the motions of caring without taking time out to focus on their own needs – often to the point of physical and emotional exhaustion. As a result, family caregivers may feel something they’ve never experienced before decreased empathy. This condition is known as compassion fatigue.
According to CARP more than 8 million Canadians provided informal care to a family member or friend. More than 1 million caregivers are older than 65.
In decades past, compassion fatigue was seen primarily in healthcare professionals. This should hardly come as a surprise considering the profession involves constantly helping patients who are suffering or experiencing a diminished quality of life. But as the country’s ageing population continues to grow, there are many family caregivers who are left feeling much the same way.
In addition to the lower threshold of empathy, family caregivers experiencing compassion fatigue may feel the following:
Outside relationships suffer as well. In a collaborative research study with the Stanford Center on Longevity, Comfort Keepers, and ClearCare, it was indicated that those responsible for a loved one with a severe illness experience poor emotional wellbeing because of their inability to properly maintain their social lives. The results of the study highlight the increasing need for family caregivers to not only acknowledge their compassion fatigue but also take steps toward self-care. Doing so can certainly help the family caregiver, but it will also help mend the relationship with their loved one.
Below are a few steps that family caregivers can take to combat compassion fatigue and get back to feeling positive about caring for their loved ones.
With Valentine’s Day fast approaching we thought we would help celebrate the dedicated caregivers in our community. A Wrinkle in Time, a medical esthetics clinic in Orangeville, approached us about partnering for a ‘Love for the Caregiver’ Contest. Tammy Brady, RN and owner of A Wrinkle in Time, has generously donated a $100 Reflexology Gift Card and a $100 Gift Card towards a service or treatment. The idea is for both the caregiver and patient to use these gift certificates together and to both receive some well-deserved pampering. Tammy has been a nurse in the Orangeville area for over 20 years and understands how essential it is for the caregiver to make self-care a priority.
A Wrinkle in Time offers many services and treatments that will help rejuvenate any caregiver. Reflexology uses the feet and hands as a means of activating the body’s reflexes to promote relaxation and healing. It is an amazing service for clients of all ages. The patient or caregiver can use either gift card.
To nominate a caregiver, go to Comfort Keepers Orangeville’s Facebook or Instagram page and post a photo and/or a few words about this special person that deserves some much-needed pampering. The contest closes on February 12th and the winner will be announced on February 14th. The winner’s story and/or photo will be used in a social media post.
For more information on A Wrinkle in Time Inc. visit A Wrinkle in Time – Orangeville, Ontario