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You Have A “Right” to A Life Separate From Caregiving

caregiver supportThis is week three of my nine-week countdown of the caregivers’ bill of rights discussed in Jo Horne’s book Caregiving: Helping An Aging Loved One.
Each post is meant as a little dose — a virtual shot in the arm if you will — of caregiver support.

Did you miss weeks one and two?

I can recap them in just a few words: You Have a Right to Take Care of Yourself and A Right To Seek Help From Others so that you don’t drown.

This next one goes a bit deeper though…

Right #3: I have the right 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 just for myself.

If you’re caring for an aging parent (and presumably, you are or you wouldn’t be here), do you allow yourself to have a life separate and apart from caregiving?

Do you feel you deserve it?

I’m asking sincerely…

For a lot of you I’m willing to bet that the answer is no.  In fact, I’m sure a good number of you don’t know where caregiving ends and you begin anymore.

It shouldn’t be that way.

It can’t stay that way.

Perhaps one of the most important things I can use this blog to tell you is that you matter.  You matter just as much as the person you’re caring for.

And you need a life that’s yours with people and places and moments and laughter that have nothing at all to do with caregiving.

So here’s to you finding and claiming them. Whatever they are for you…




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