Caring Bill of Rights

  1. To take care of myself. This is not an act of selfishness. It will give me the capability of taking better care of my loved one.
  2. To seek help from others even though my loved one may object. I recognize the limits of my own endurance and strength.
  3. To maintain facets of my own life that do not include the person I provide care for, just as I would if he or she were healthy. I know that I do everything I can for this person and have have the right to do some things just for myself.
  4. To get angry, be depressed and express other difficult feelings occasionally, as long as I'm not hurting anyone else.
  5. To be neutral and compassionate of any attempt by my loved one [either conscious or unconscious] to manipulate me through guilt, anger or depression.
  6. To receive consideration, affection, forgiveness and acceptance for what I do for my loved one, as long as I offer these qualities in return.
  7. To take pride in what I am accomplishing and to applaud the courage it has sometimes taken me to meet my needs and the needs of my loved one.
  8. To protect my individuality and my right and gift to make a life for myself that will sustain me in the time when my loved one no longer needs my full time help.