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A Caregiver's Bill of Rights

Written by Jo Horne
CAREGIVING: HELPING AN AGING LOVED ONE (AARP Books, 1985)


 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 he or she were healthy.

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

- to reject any attempt by my relative (either conscious or unconscious) to manipulate me through guilt, anger, or depression.

- 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 resources to aid physically and mentally impaired older persons in our country, and to aid and support their caregivers.


   

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