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 ability to take better care of my loved one.
  • I have the right to seek help from others even though my loved one may object. I know the limits of my own endurance and strength.
  • I have the right to maintain parts of my own life that do not include the person I care for, just as I would if they were healthy. I know that I do everything that I reasonably can do for this person. I have the right to do some thing just for myself.
  • I have the right to get angry, be depressed, and express difficult feelings once in a while.
  • I have the right to reject my attempt by my loved one to make me do things out of guilt or anger. (It doesn’t matter if they know they are doing it or not.)
  • I have the right to get consideration, affection, forgiveness, and acceptance for what I do for my loved one, as I offer these in return.
  • I have the right to take pride in what I am doing. And I have the right to applaud the courage it has taken to meet the needs of my loved one.
  • I have the right to protect my individuality. I also have the right to a life that will sustain me in times when my loved one no longer needs my full-time help.

The Caregiver's Bill of Rights is from an excellent booklet published by the National Cancer Institute:  When Someone You Love is Being Treated for Cancer