September 14, 2020

Caring for Yourself with Caregiver Connection

Young woman hugging older woman

 

Whether helping a loved one or a client, caregiving is one of the most rewarding things anyone can do. It can also be one of the most challenging. Those who devote their lives to helping others can find themselves suffering from burnout or, in more extreme cases, compassion fatigue. Signs can include anxiety, depression, exhaustion, irritability, avoidance, physical pain, and neglecting one’s own needs.

If you’re a caregiver who’s feeling burned out, you’re not alone. In a National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP Public Policy Institute survey of nearly 48 million caregivers, 20 percent say they have experienced high financial strain, nearly 40 percent are emotionally stressed, about 20 percent are physically strained, and 20 percent feel alone.

One way to combat burnout and compassion fatigue is to join a support group like The IC’s new Caregiver Connection. All caregivers in the community are welcome, whether or not they are employed by The IC. By connecting with others who understand, participants can find ways to reduce stress or anxiety, alleviate feelings of isolation, gain a sense of control and wellbeing, and cultivate healthy coping skills.

Because most caregivers find it easier to attend meetings virtually rather than in person, Caregiver Connection is held online. The group meets via Zoom from 2 – 3 p.m. on the first Friday and third Thursday of each month. (Just remember FF/TT!)

If you’re a caregiver who’s looking for support, get the Zoom link by sending an email to community@the-ic.org. Then grab a beverage, put your feet up (for a change), and join us for conversations that will support and inspire you.