The Caregiver's Bill of Rights.
I have the right:
- To take care of myself. Caregiving 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. Only I can recognize the limits of my endurance and strength.
- To maintain facets of my 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.