Caregiver's Bill of Rights

Most material for caretakers concentrates either on the model of the elderly spouse or adult child/elderly parent scenarios. Very little information appears to be available for younger partners caring for mentally ill partners. The Bipolar significant Other site seems to be one of the few with extensive resources for partners. However, K sent me a link to some information this afternoon.

Here's the Caregiver's Bill of Rights.

Caregiver 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 my relative.

To seek help from others even though my relative 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 s/he were healthy.

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

To reject any attempt by my relative to manipulate me through
guilt, anger, or depression.

To receive consideration, affection, forgiveness, and acceptance
for what I do for my loved 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 relative.

To protect my individuality and my right to make a life for
myself that will sustain me in the time when my relative 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.

-Jo Horne

This bill of rights is focused only on the elder caregiver, but the caregivers for other illness can adapt it as necessary. Caregiving is not limited to only age related illnesses.


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