THE INVISIBLE PATIENT
Fulfilling the role of family caregiver is hard work, even if chosen willingly as an act of love to another. While the emotional, physical, and spiritual toll of caregiving is well documented, the high level of self-love and self-care required within the caregiver to successfully put the needs of others first without self-destructing, is not.
COMPASSION FATIGUE IS A REAL THING
Caregiving can be a rewarding experience for all involved, but the stress of being a caregiver can lead to burnout and exhaustion, and, in some cases, financial peril. Consequently, the stress involved in caregiving causes caregivers to put themselves and their well-being in the background and focus on their needs last. Contributing to the level of stress is the fact that many caregivers are financially contributing to their aging loved ones’ needs while also providing the care for that loved one. All of this ongoing self-sacrifice causes a phenomenon known as compassion fatigue, leading caregivers to become the “invisible patient.”
How can caregivers fulfill their role as a caregiver without losing themselves in the process?
In The Invisible Patient, senior care advisor and caregiver advocate Annalee Kruger teaches caretakers how to appreciate the blessings of being a caregiver while also looking after themselves. It is not a luxury for caregivers to practice strong self-care — it is a necessity. The ability to be resilient, of knowing and sharing boundaries, and how to say “no” are vital for both the well-being of the caregiver and the caregiver’s patients. The Invisible Patient provides inspiration, encouragement, and guidance for finding ease and help during the caregiving journey.
Kruger leaves no stone unturned, providing personal anecdotes and scenarios about the caregiving process, and includes numerous references and resources in this guide to caring for the caregiver.
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