Caregiver's Bill of Rights
Caring can be an overwhelming job-- so overwhelming that caregivers often
forget to take care of themselves. The Caregiver's Bill of Rights may help remind you of some things you may have
forgotten to do for yourself:
I have the right...
- To take care of myself. This is not an act of selfishness. It will give
me the capability of taking better care of my relative.
- To seek help from others even though my relatives may object. I recognize
the limits of my own endurance and strength.
- To maintain facets of my own life that does not include the person I care
for, just as I would if he or she were healthy. I know that I do everything that I reasonably can for this person, and I have
the right to do some things just for myself.
- To get angry, be depressed, and express other difficult feelings occasionally.
- To reject any attempts by my relative (either conscious or unconscious)
to manipulate me through guilt, and/or depression.
- To receive consideration, affection, forgiveness, and acceptance for what
I do from my loved one for as long as I offer these qualities in return.
- To take pride in what I am accomplishing and to applaud the courage it has
sometimes taken to meet the needs of my relative.
- To protect my individuality and my right to make a life for myself that
will sustain me in the time when my loved one no longer needs my full-time help.
- To expect and demand that as new strides are made in finding resources to
aid physically and mentally impaired persons in our country, similar strides will be made towards aiding and supporting caregivers.
Reprinted with permission of the author, Jo Horne