I have the right . . .

  • To take care of myself.  This is not an act of selfishness.
  • To seek help from others even though my family 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.
  • To feel and express my own emotions, even difficult ones such as sadness, fear and anger.
  • To reject any attempts by my loved ones (conscious or unconscious) to manipulate me through guilt.
  • To expect the  consideration, affection, forgiveness, and acceptance, which I demonstrate in my caregiving, to be reciprocated by my ill spouse.
  • To take pride in the endurance and strength I have shown in meeting my ill spouse's needs.
  • To protect my individuality and my right to make a life for myself that will sustain me now and when my loved one no longer needs my help.
  • To seek emotional support by participating in Well Spouse activities.
  • To expect and demand that as strides are made to provide assistance to those who are ill and disabled, similar strides will be made towards aiding and supporting spousal caregivers.

*This material has been adapted, with spousal references, from the AARP book "Caregiving:Helping an Aged Loved One" by Jo Horme, and by Peggy Meisel's WSA original.

Well Spouse Association is a national, nonprofit support organization for spousal caregivers.  For membership information, please visit www.wellspouse.org, Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 1-800-838-0879.