When a caregiver gets overwhelmed by compassion fatigue, that can be the end of the road as far as being a caregiver. Since that probably isn’t in your plans, you need to figure out how to avoid that possibility.
Start Keeping Notes
You can’t afford to guess with this. By keeping track of notes on paper, you give yourself something to refer back to so you can see what kind of progress you’re making. Commit to yourself that you’re going to keep a journal, even if it’s something that only you ever see.
Rate How You’re Feeling
One of the easiest and fastest ways to track this sort of information is to use a numerical scale. You might choose one through 10 or another set of numbers, but the key is to determine what each end of the scale means. This gives you a way to shortcut how you’re feeling and what you’re experiencing.
Make Note of What Helps
Keep track of what helps you to feel better and what relieves your stress. This is vital not only for the good days that you experience but also when you’re having a bad day. On those days that are much more difficult, you can go back through your notes and try something that worked before to see if it helps you now.
Join a Support Group
Caregiver support groups are more than just a way to get out of the house, although they do that for you, too. You’re able to meet other caregivers and trade information about how you’re doing, what’s working for you, and you have people to reach out to when things are going badly. Joining a caregiver support group might just be what keeps you from succumbing to compassion fatigue.
Make Yourself a Priority
Your elderly family member is a big priority for you, otherwise, you wouldn’t be her caregiver. But you have to put yourself higher on the list than you are right now. When you’re not doing well, you’re not able to be there for your senior the way that you want to be. Do what you can to take care of you so that you can be the support person for others.
You have to keep tabs on this yourself because no one else is able to monitor this for you. As a caregiver, you’re going to have to ensure that you’re taking care of yourself so that you can keep taking care of the other people who rely on you every day.