A Caregiver’s Bill of Rights By Wendy Lustbade

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. I know that I do everything 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 relative (either conscious or unconscious) to manipulate me through guilt, anger or depression.
  • To receive consideration, affection, forgiveness and acceptance for what I do from my beloved one 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.

READ MORE: http://www.boomertoboomeronline.ca/a-caregivers-bill-of-rights/

6 thoughts on “A Caregiver’s Bill of Rights By Wendy Lustbade

  1. Thank you. I am fighting a battle right now with my violent alzheimer husband. Finally was able to get him help, but it’s the treatment from the staff workers that are wearing me down to the ground.They are believing some of the bizarre things he is saying. I just wanted to give up. 2 years of hell, watching him go away, the endless calls to doctors crisis lines, social workers, it’s a nightmare.I I am SO HAPPY to read this. Thank you.

  2. I’ve been a caregiver for quite a long time and not for family usually but I do know that people can have a tendency to take advantage if you let them and you have to take care of yourself because if you don’t no one else will.and if you r l who will take care of those wonderful elderly people that you would take care of .there’s a reason you’re there and not the family you are the family for that last moments alot of times.and those times are when you are needed the most by the elderly person sometimes our children don’t always think they need to be there and have their own lives to live they forget that there parents gave there lives for them!and then there’s the ones that only care about the money sad to say there’s plenty of them out there

  3. I and my younger sister are taking care of our father who is visually impaired in both eyes and I find joy looking after him. As I am working, I employed a maid to look after him but do some of the basics for my dad like shaving and trimming his hair, cutting his nails. My maid will bathe him and cook for him. I have joy looking after him and always think of how to make him happier. When I am around, he does not exercise and my maid is not of the caring nature so I have so much activities to do with him but just not enough time. I have 5 siblings older than me and 2 younger than me but my dad has been staying with me all these years. He does not want to stay with any of the other siblings as he is used to and familiar with my house. He is presently 87 years old and 2 of my sisters assist with financial support. My dad cannot recognise me or my voice and I have to tell him who I am each time I talked to him.
    I can understand that some of the carers are very tied down and want to have some time to themselves. I think we are blessed to be able to take care of our parents in their old age. It is a joy to see them in good health and in good hands.

  4. Excellent “Rights” – each & every one of them! I’ve been living with my parents since returning home for a mere visit over five years ago when we concluded my father had dementia, quickly diagnosed as Alzheimer’s. One of five siblings, having just been divorced without children, I was most able to remain here to assist my mother, who almost two years ago suffered some minor strokes and now requires daily care as well. The difficulty IS striving to remain patient and giving at all times while also recognizing when a break is required. It IS alright to facilitate other coverage and simply go, go, GO away – anywhere – but best to an arena of comfort, relaxation, and hopefully enjoyment. During my first three years as full-time caregiver, I completed a Master’s degree online simply to assure myself I was still remaining “productive,” hoping I’d find work in the new arena I’d entered without realizing it (Assisted Living – and yes my MA is in Psych/MHA). Big question is “how” to let go, and despite my parents desire to pass away in their home instead of a professional facility, WHEN the time is right to proceed with professional work and trust others to fulfill the role I’ve been filling… Of the three siblings I have living, two are completely consumed with their own family lives, and the other who I’ve had join me is simply NOT the comfort my mother wants (Dad is in his final stage of Alzheimer’s now and upsets Mom more than ever)… I feel obligated to stay with Mom, yet know I must move on.

    This Caregiver’s “Bill of Rights” is required for all caregivers, as each caregiver has unique capacity – no one the same as the other. As individuals serving loved ones, we must take advantage of the unique privilege we have doing so, yet always realize self-awareness AND fulfilling our own needs first is primal to providing the best care possible. Thank you for this article, and to all whose concerns to care for the Caregiver are clear! ;’)

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