Caregiver Bill of Rights
As a caregiver for a love one living with life-limiting illness, I have the right to:
- Take care of myself. This is not an act of selfishness. It will give me the capability to take better care of my loved-one.
- Seek help from others, even though my loved-one may object. I recognize the limits of my own endurance and strength.
- Maintain facets of my own life that do not include the person I care for, just as if he or she were healthy. I know that I do everything I reasonably can for my loved-one; I have the right to do some things just for me without feeling guilty.
- Get angry, be depressed or happy, experience frustration, laugh and cry and express the normal range of human emotions.
- Reject any conscious or unconscious attempt by my loved-one to manipulate me through guilt, anger or depression.
- Recieve consideration, affection, forgiveness and acceptacne from my loved-one for what I do for them on a daily basis.
- Take pride in what I am accomplishing and to applaud my own courage in taking on the responsibility for caring for my loved-one.
- Protect my individuality and maintain a life for myself that will sustain me once my loved-one has died.
- Expect and demand that, as government makes strides in finding resources to support ill persons, similar strides are made toward aiding and supporting caregivers.
Adapted from Caregiving: Helping an Aging Loved One (AARP Books, 1985) by Jo Horne.