Caregiver's Bill of Rights

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 the patient.
  • To seek help from others even though my relatives/friends 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 the patient, 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 relative/friend (either conscious or unconscious) to manipulate me through guilt and/or depression.
  • To receive consideration, affection, forgiveness and acceptance for what I do for the patient 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 the patient.
  • To protect my individuality and my right to make a life for myself that will sustain me in the time when the patient no longer needs my help.
*Adapted from Today’s Caregiver Magazine