Caregiver's Bill of Rights

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 do not 
    include the person I care for, just as I would if
    he or she were healthy.  I know that I do everything
    I reasonably can for this person, and I have the
    right to do some things for myself.

*   To get angry, be depressed, and express other 
    difficult feelings occasionally.

*   To reject any attempts by my relatives (either
    conscious or unconscious) to manipulate me 
    through guilt, and/or depression.

*   To receive consideration, affection, forgiveness,
    and acceptance for what I do for 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 relative no longer needs my full-time 

*   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 

© by Jo Horne,
Author of Caregiving: Helping an Aging Loved One
and other books for caregivers.
Reprinted with permission of the author.

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