As the COVID-19 pandemic stretches on, the number of people who find themselves caring for loved ones is increasing. As they grapple with everything they have to oversee as a family caregiver — from medications to medical appointments to information management — there’s one essential thing they often forget about: themselves.
One recent study published in the journal Aging & Mental Health shows that 71% of family caregivers experience high levels of caregiver burden, or stress, and as many as 59.5% experience signs of burnout or compassion fatigue. Another study in the Journal of Adult Development reveals that family caregivers may be even more susceptible to compassion fatigue than formal caregivers because of the lack of systemic support they receive.
But what is compassion fatigue exactly, and is it avoidable?
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