I have to take what she dishes out. I’m her caregiver.
She’s not who she used to be. She’s suffering with this disease. I have to support her no matter what.
He doesn’t mean to do this. It’s a part of the process.
Have you ever thought or made a statement like one of these? Caregiving can be the most difficult job you’ll ever have to do. And occasionally it can be a fairly rough road.
Many assume they have to stick with it, day after day, no matter what their loved one dishes out. They are the primary caregiver. But don’t forget that you have rights too. It doesn’t make you a selfish or poor caregiver. It makes you a healthy one. And the healthier you are, the more you’ll have to give to the person you are caring for.
You have rights as a caregiver. Keep them close to your heart and remind yourself every day. You have the right:
To take care of yourself. You can only give 100 percent if you maintain 100 percent. It gives you the capability of being a better caregiver. That means getting the sleep, diet, exercise and self-care you need each day.
To do things for you. You can maintain a life outside of your caregiving roles, both professional and personal.
To have negative feelings. It’s okay to get angry, sad, depressed, and express difficult feelings. Letting these feelings out can help you work through them in a healthy way.
To seek help from others. Nobody has to navigate the caregiving road alone. Asking for help as you need it brings additional support into your life and gives you and your loved one the skills you need to move forward. It gives you the freedom to continue to act on the other rights listed here.
To avoid manipulation. Caregiving often brings a strong sense of overwhelm. It’s easier to manipulate when you feel hopelessness in a situation, both by the one you are caring for and other relatives in your life. Reject these behaviors and stop them as soon as you recognize them.
To take pride in what you do. Every day you accomplish many things. It takes courage and tenacity to maneuver the caregiving road. Give yourself a pat on the back for all that you achieve.
To create your own life. What will happen when your caregiving skills are no longer required? Don’t forget you are a unique individual with needs and desires. What can you do to keep these fires alive?