Yes, in fact, Jo Horne, author of "Caregiving: Helping an Aging Loved One," composed a list of particular caregiver rights.

The rights, listed below, offer validation and words of fortitude for the caregiver in his or her daily tasks and responsibilities. 

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 loved one.

To seek help from others even though my loved one 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 loved one (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 loved one.

To protect my individuality and my right to make a life for myself that will sustain me in the time when my loved one 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.

Horne also notes that caregivers can add their own rights to his or her own personal statement.

The author recommends the caregiver read these rights every day to improve self-esteem and confidence.


Questions about Alzheimer's disease or related disorders can be sent to Dana Territo, the Memory Whisperer, owner of Dana Territo Consulting LLC, at thememorywhisperer@gmail.com.