Friday, February 20, 2009

A Caregiver's Bill of Rights

I read this in the Caregiver magazine a couple of years ago when my father was dying of chronic health problems. He also had age-related dementia, which had gotten progressively worse over his final few years. The last year was very tough. Mama and I were taking care of Daddy every day, and being full time caregivers was something very new and overwhelming to the two of us.

I thought I'd post this here in case you haven't seen it before. And if you'd like to know more about the Caregiver organization, click here: Besides the website, they publish a great magazine and actively advocate for caregivers.

I hope this is a help and a blessing to you.
Caregiver at Home

A Caregiver’s Bill of Rights
by Jo Horne

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 loved ones.

To seek help from others even though my loved ones may object. I recognize the limits of my own endurance and strength.

To maintain facets of my own life that do 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 loved one (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 ones, 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 loved one.

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.

Copyright, Inc. 1995-2005

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