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 care receiver.
- To seek help from others even though my care receiver 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 care receiver (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 care receiver 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 care receiver.
- To protect my individuality and my right to make a life for myself that will sustain me in the time when my care receiver 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 older persons in our country, similar strides will be made toward aiding and supporting caregivers.
- Add your own statements of rights to the list. Read the list to yourself everyday.
Adapted from Caregiving: Helping an Aging Loved One, a book by Jo Horne