Caregivers play an essential role in many people’s lives, so much so that caregivers sometimes forget the effect it has on their own wellbeing. Caring for others sometimes allows us to omit our own needs, but it’s essential to understand your rights as a caregiver and take care of yourself.
Below, we’ll discuss the rights you have as a caregiver and why you need to assert them.
The Rights of Caregivers
Taking Care of Yourself
Taking care of yourself matters as a caregiver because your own well-being allows you to care for your client or loved one. It’s important to understand your own limitations and strengths. If you neglect your health, sleep, and other personal factors, your quality of work suffers. Not only is this bad for you, but it can also be bad for your client or loved one. As a caregiver, you need to be diligent to see the signs your client or loved one gives off. Being sleep-deprived or not giving yourself the time to be well can lead to you becoming ill-prepared for a fall or missing a deteriorating health sign.
Keeping Your Personal Life to Yourself
Part of being a caregiver is creating companionship with your loved one or client to create a comfortable environment for them, but it’s also important to maintain professional boundaries. In any relationship, you’ll more than likely keep parts of your life to yourself since they’re not necessary to share with everyone. Caregiving is no different, regardless of the personal and sometimes intimate relationship you have with your client or loved one.
Seeking Help When You Need It
It’s important to remember that at the end of the day, you have your limits. While you may feel obligated to be available for your client or loved one’s every need, there are, in fact, other options available to you.
Working with a home care agency like JEVS Care at Home offers you the ability to have another caregiver from the agency step in to help for a time. In addition, there are also respite care and adult day care options available to you.
Taking Pride in Your Work
As a caregiver, you should be proud of the work you do. Your job is needed, appreciated, and valued, and you should be proud of your ability to care for your client or loved ones’ needs.
Protecting Your Individuality
Caregiving can be a rewarding job but also time-consuming and taxing. As you dedicate more of your time to a loved one or client’s care, it can be difficult and sometimes make you feel guilty for taking time for yourself. However, taking time for yourself is also beneficial for your client. Caregiving is personal, but it’s like any other job, and you have the right to protect your personal life outside of it. Taking time for you, maintaining a healthy diet, seeing friends, and much more are all ways to remind yourself of your individuality.
Having emotions is part of being human and not something you should neglect. Stress, depression, and other emotions can happen as caregivers, but there are ways to work through it. Check out our article on managing stress as a caregiver to learn more.
Rejecting Manipulation by Your Loved One
Caregiving can sometimes be a thankless job, but it’s important nonetheless. As your client or loved one increasingly depends upon you, there may become a time where your desire to help and your client or loved one’s needs conflict. It can sometimes feel as if you’re being manipulated, which leaves you feeling guilty or depressed, considering how much they depend upon you.
While we can’t make you not feel these feelings, there are ways to work around it. We recommend setting boundaries and expectations for your role. This helps you create a balance between your jobs and your personal life. Learn more about setting professional boundaries as a caregiver here.
Expecting Further Strides in Support for Caregivers
Caregiving is an important profession, and you should strive for the betterment of your role. Actively pursue these new developments as new resources and support become made available to you. This will make it easier for you to do your job and provide care for your clients or loved ones.
Why It’s Important for Caregivers to Assert Their Rights
By far, the most important reason to assert these rights is to eliminate the feeling of guilt which sometimes happens among caregivers. Without asserting these rights and setting proper professional boundaries for yourself, you will experience caregiver burnout. As a person, you matter too. With options, resources, and support available to you, you shouldn’t have to sacrifice your individuality or well-being for the role.
How a Home Care Agency Helps
A home care agency, like JEVS Care at Home, provides additional support and resources you need to assert your rights as a caregiver effectively. Our agency helps you navigate the complexities of caregiving and help you when you need it most. In addition to the benefits we offer our caregivers, we pair each of our caregivers with a Client Care Manager. They’ll help you through the challenges of your day-to-day duties and provide support to ensure you manage your stresses properly.
To learn more about how JEVS Care at Home supports you as a caregiver, click here.
Summary of Caregiver Rights
To conclude, your rights as a caregiver matter, so it’s important to assert your rights and take care of yourself. Sometimes you will feel guilty, tired, stressed, or depressed, and as a caregiver, you’re entitled to these feelings. What’s essential to take away is that regardless of your role as a caregiver, you’re a person first and foremost, so be sure to take time for yourself and know your value.