Exercising Caregiver Rights

By Pamela Atwood, MA, Director of Dementia Care Services

Providing care to anyone with chronic needs is difficult work. This is true whether you are a caregiver living with the individual, or if you help someone regularly, or if you are a long-distance caregiver. It can be physically, emotionally and financially draining depending on your situation. Many people say they cannot get help – many more say they cannot ask for it! To encourage yourself to ask for help, remember that caregivers have rights. There are many versions of the Caregiver Bill of Rights. They include rights such as:

• The right to make decisions that are best for both of us.
• The right to make mistakes and be forgiven.
• The right to love ourselves and accept that we have done what was humanly possible.
• The right to be free from feelings and thoughts that are negative, destructive and unfounded.
• The right to have time and activities for ourselves without guilt, fear or criticism.

If you need resources for dealing with the stresses of caregiving, feel free to call Hebrew Health Care at 860-920-1810, or email us for information. Aging Care AcademySM courses, Family Care Consultations, and calling us for information/referrals can provide you with tools, guide you to respite options, and give you time to exercise your rights!

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