Joyful | Compassionate | Wellness
Encouraging and supporting wellness in those who care for others— one individual, one community, one organization at a time.
Who Are the Caregivers?
Most of us have or will care for a friend or family member who is ill, frail or disabled. In service of those we care about and love, individual caregivers make an invaluable contribution to our communities and society at large. According to AARP’s recent report, “Caregiving in America” (November 2015), 40 million Americans are doing caring for others in need. These estimated 40 million Americans are providing 37 billion hours of unpaid caregiving worth $470 billion dollars.
Nonprofit organizations, as advocates for those in need and as champions of the common good, are caregivers of our world’s most vulnerable communities. These organizations manifest the noblest beliefs, highest ideals and boldest values of our world. According to the National Center for Charitable Statistics (NCCS), more than 1.5 million nonprofit organizations are registered in the U.S. They protect, feed, heal, shelter, educate, and nurture millions of individuals and families.
Studies confirm that caregivers--those who care for others--are at risk for, and suffer from a high level of compassion fatigue. As individual volunteer and professional caregivers, our hearts, minds and bodies are dedicated day in and day out to caring for others in situations that can be physically and emotionally challenging.
Those of us working or volunteering in the nonprofit sector with vital life-saving and life changing missions are also at risk. Awareness and resources to prevent and combat compassion fatigue are limited.
At Beyond Words Wellness Resources, we believe wellness is possible for all caregivers and is a matter of social and global justice. Talking and deep listening are important first steps in realizing wellness. We believe that each and every caregiver can take small steps and achieve balanced and lasting wellness.
What is Wellness?
Wellness integrates mind, body and spirit with a balanced flow of energy that allows us to live our days with joy, compassion and gratitude. Wellness is not simply the absence of disease but is a dynamic process of growth and change.
Each of us has within our power to achieve and maintain wellness. The realization of this power and balanced wellness comes from self-awareness, informed physical care, and meaning and mindful relationships with others, and our natural world. For many individuals, wellness also involves a deep meaningful spiritual connection with a higher power.
Achieving wellness is an ongoing process informed by small choices we can make each day despite our busy lives. The power to make these good small choices ultimately rests with the individual. At times, particularly when much of our time and energy is devoted to meeting the needs of others, we need encouragement and support in caring for ourselves.
Without a doubt, the pursuit of wellness has immediate positive rewards—increased energy, clearer thinking, deeper and more joyful relationships with others, and for volunteer and professional caregivers, an enhanced ability to care for those we care about and love.
Do you think you may be struggling with Compassion Fatigue?