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Family Caregiving for Seniors - SageCorner Blog

The Caregiver's Bill of Rights

by Deah on Wednesday, February 21, 2018 2:02 PM

As a caregivers for my in-laws and now my parents, I have experienced the down side of being a caregiver. While I would not change caring for these loved ones, I recognize that sometimes exhaustion and depression tend to creep in. I have a natural tendency to be a caregiver and my family values would not allow me to do anything other than to help care for these people I love so much.

Knowing this, however, does not keep the emotional and physical stress of caregiving at bay. I have recently discovered the Caregiver’s Bill of Rights that I am posting on my refrigerator to remind me that I should no longer let my own self-care slip away. We must not forget to take care of ourselves too. How are we going to provide quality care for someone else if we do not take care of ourselves first? In order to provide the best care possible, we must put our own needs and health right up there with those of our loved one.

This version of the Caregiver’s Bill of Rights is from caregiver.com, where they attributed it to Jo Horne:

I have the right:

1. 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.

2. To seek help from others even though my loved ones may object. Only I can recognize the limits of my endurance and strength.

3. 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.

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

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

6. 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.

7. 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.

8. 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.

9. 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.

Which of these caregiver rights are you exercising?

It is not how much you do, but how much love you put in the doing. -Mother Teresa

Blogs Parent Separator Deah Bowes
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Tips and ideas to help care for a senior loved one at home.

  

Lori Paterno, M.Ed. Has a Masters Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling From Penn State University.  She has over 20 years professional experience in Human Services, Counseling, and Education.

Lori Paterno, M.Ed. Has a Masters Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling From Penn State University.  She has over 20 years professional experience in Human Services, Counseling, and Education. 
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