Being a Caregiver is hard work. Remember your personal rights that should not be swept under the rug.
In the book, Caregiving: Helping an Aging Loved One by Jo Horne, we can find A Caregiver's Bill of Rights. This "bill of rights" is nine points to remember and respect as you aretaking care of your loved one. Yesterday we published a post on Caregiver Burnout that explained the dangers of wearing yourself too thin. We all know that it's not a piece of cake taking good care of yourself, let alone another person who is a grown adult who relies heavily on you. It's important to know that you are not alone in this battle! You are not the only person who is struggling to continue being a caregiver while keeping up with your personal life and immediate family. That's why we wanted to share with you the Caregiver's Bill of Rights today. The author suggests to readers that they add their own statements to the list and read this bill every day.
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 relative 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 attempt by my relative (either conscious or unconscious) to manipulate me through guilt, anger, 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 help.
- To expect and demand that as new strides are made in finding resources to aid physically and mentally impaired older persons in our country, similar strides will be made toward aiding and supporting caregivers.