How caregivers can maintain compassion without becoming exhausted
The role of a caregiver can be draining, but there are ways to build resilience. Visiting lecturers from the Center for Trauma-Informed Innovation at the Truman Medical Centers in Kansas City, Mo., visited Upstate recently to train professional caregivers. Much of their advice also applies to people who care for children or aging relatives. Andrea Dalton and the Rev. Roxanne Pendleton explained some of the risks for this group. "Secondary trauma" is when the caregiver is affected by trauma that happens to someone else. "Compassion fatigue" is a weariness that signals the caregiver is running out of his or her resilience. "Burnout" is marked by a numbness or cynicism. Dalton and Pendleton offer strategies for maintaining or rebuilding compassion.