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Caregivers Bill of Rights


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A friend that is caring for her aged mom showed this to me this morning. I had to make a copy and post.

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 one.

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 need 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.

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Thank you....this really hits home!!! 3 months after the illness and death of my husband, I came to Fla to caregive for my elderly father. I am his only child, so it was my responsibility. I accept that, but at times it is hard to have a life of my own here, and caregive. I am trying to do this by going out to lunch with my very good friend 2 doors down, who is also a widow. We have alot of fun, and I do try not to feel guilty. I realize I have to maintain a semblance of the life I had before. I think it is true that you have do for yourself in order to be a good caregiver. It works for my dad and I anyway. I really think he is glad I go off now and then, it gives him time for himself :wink: Thanks for posting this bill of rights for caregivers!



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Well said, Ann. At first, I thought I should do everything for Lucie. Then I realized I needed to take care of myself as well and to take breaks. We talked about this and are very comfortable both of us with letting people help. Actually, to not let them do is to deny them opportunity for giving and serving.

When Lucie has radiation therapy 5 days a week (not at present), we ask the people at church to sign up for taking her. This gives me a break (I drive when she is seeing the onc), and she gets to visit with these people one-on-one. Win-win all around.

One woman at church when the signup list was going around asked Lucie why I was not taking her every day. Lucie said, "This is my gift to him!" That woman is now one of the drivers! Don

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Thank you so much for posting this....it truly is helpful.

I think the first one is most important to remember. At first, I tried to be "Super-Caregiver"...worked half days, went to the hospital, stayed the night, got up and went back to work. It was hard on everyone...my husband, my kids, my students...and me. As my mom got better, she felt guilty for all the time I spent with her. Mom lives alone, so I worry about her staying by herself after her hospitalizations, but I have to trust her when she tells me she is strong enough to do so.

We also utilized the church and school folks for radiation for the same reasonsDon listed. Not only did Mom enjoy visiting, but the drivers were all able to help out, which made them feel better as well. Like Don said, win-win.

:) Kelly

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Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! I sat and cried as i read this...not only for myself, who posts here, by my dear stepfather (my daddy) and my brother and sister who also care so much! We don't have to be there physically, really, to be a caregiver. I love my mom with everything i am, but "life goes on" resonates in my head. I am still, also, a wife and a mother, and a needed part of our school system...those things don't, and can't change. Thanks again, i needed that!

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