November is National Family Caregivers Month, and we at the ALS Association of Texas cannot think of a better time to share our enhanced support for family caregivers. You are appreciated, and each week in November, we will be connecting with you to share another tool for your ALS Caregiver Toolbox.
This week, allow yourself permission to have a meltdown!
Here’s another important resource to add to your ALS Caregiver Toolbox – the Caregiver Bill of Rights.
As a Caregiver, I Have the Right:
- To take care of myself. This is not an act of selfishness. It will give me the capacity to take better care of my relative.
- To seek help from others even though my relative may object. I recognize the limits of my own endurance and strength.
- To maintain facets of my own life that do not include the person I care for, just as I would if he or she were healthy. I know that I do everything that I reasonably can for this person, and I have the right to do some things for myself.
- To get angry, be depressed, and express other difficult feelings occasionally.
- To reject any attempt by my relative (either conscious or unconscious) to manipulate me through guilt, anger, or depression.
- To receive consideration, affection, forgiveness, and acceptance for what I do for my loved one for as long as I offer these qualities in return.
- To take pride in what I am accomplishing and to applaud the courage it has sometimes taken to meet the needs of my relative.
- To protect my individuality and my right to make a life for myself that will sustain me in the time when my relative no longer needs my full-time help.
- To expect and demand that as new strides are made in finding resources to aid physically and mentally impaired older persons in our country, similar strides will be made toward aiding and supporting caregivers.
Written by Jo Horne in her book Caregiving: Helping an Aging Loved One
Self-care is our theme for the month, and we will be focusing on how to Stress Less on Purpose and how to take the best care of ourselves so that we can care for loved ones living with ALS.