Facing Cancer Together | 10.23.13
There is a lot of responsibility that comes with being a caregiver for someone. Some of this responsibility includes going to the doctor, preparing meals, cleaning and doing the laundry. Aside from these day to day needs of the patient, a caregiver oftentimes offers emotional support to help the patient cope with their disease as well.
Caregivers need care too. It's easy for a caregiver to put their own needs aside while focusing on the person they are caring for. But, it's important for caregivers to recognize the need to take care of themselves emotionally and physically as well, so that they can offer the best care to others.
Below are some ways that caregivers can take care of themselves:
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 he were healthy. I know that I do everything that I reasonably can do for this person. I have the right to do some things 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 any attempt by my loved one to make me do things out of guilt or anger. (It doesn't matter if she knows that she is 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'm 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.
Are you a caregiver? What are the challenges that you face in caring for someone? Please leave a comment below.
Published in Expert Blog