A CAREGIVER’S BILL OF RIGHTSCategory:
NOVEMBER IS NATIONAL CAREGIVERS MONTH.
A CAREGIVER’S BILL OF RIGHTS
Caregiving is a tough job. This November, we remember the people who lovingly give baths, clean houses, shop for, and comfort the millions of elderly and ill people who are family, friends, and loved ones.
If you’ve ever looked after an older or disabled loved one, or even an adult child with special needs, you know how difficult it can be to “keep all the balls in the air,” doctors’ appointments, daily tasks like dressing, feeding, and bathing, and managing finances.
If you currently look after an older or sick loved one, make sure to have the following legal documents created before a crisis occurs:
- Power of Attorney- This will allow you to legally manage your loved one’s financial affairs, communicate with financial institutions, and apply for any benefits needed when your loved one can no longer do so.
- Healthcare Directive- This document gives the appointed agent the right to communicate with doctors and make all necessary medical decisions if the patient cannot speak for him or herself.
- HIPAA form- You’ll want to have a HIPAA form signed in advance by your loved one to ensure that you can access any medical records you may need and overcome any other privacy hurdles you encounter.
These documents are easy to create and something that all caregivers should have on file so that they can quickly and legally step in to help their loved one in an emergency
During this month and all other days and months, a Bill of Rights was established in 1986, and there have been many renditions since. Below are snippets from three of Bills of Rights we found. You can download them, on our website, or send a stamped, self-addressed envelope with a request to receive them, here:
A CAREGIVER’S BILL OF RIGHTS
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.
- Seek support from other caregivers. You are not alone!
- Take care of your own health so that you can be strong enough to take care of your loved one.
- Accept offers of help and suggest specific things people can do to help you.
- Learn how to communicate effectively with doctors
◆ Receive enough training in caregiving skills along with accurate, understandable information about the condition and needs of the care recipient.
◆ Appreciation and emotional support for their decision to accept the challenge of providing care.
◆ Protect their assets and financial future without severing their relationship with the care-receiver.
◆ Respite care during emergencies and in order to care for their own health, spirit, and relationships.
Caregiver Bill of Rights