Family caregivers make up the largest group of volunteer healthcare workers in the United States. Over 65 million people are working to provide care for a loved one today, and 42 million of those people have daily caregiving responsibilities.
To put that into context a bit, the annual societal value of unpaid hours of care comes to the amount of $450 BILLION DOLLARS! Cargivers work, and they work a lot to provide the care that their loved ones need.
Sherri Snelling, CEO of The Caregiving Club and Author of the book: A Cast of Caregivers, has come up with the Caregiver Bill of Rights. It is compromised of an awesome list that takes a look at many things that Caregivers should have, because they deserve it.
Let's take a look at that Caregiver Bill of Rights:
- The right to have balance between caring for my loved one and caring for myself.
- The right to receive a financial break or tax credit for caring full-time for my loved one.
- The right to work for an employer that understands and supports caregivers.
- The right to expect the nation's legislators to acknowledge the valuable service I perform and to enact policies that not only support those with the illness or disability but support their family caregivers as well.
- The right to expect my loved one's medical advisors and health care professionals to recognize my critical role as part of the primary and long-term care team.
- The right to easily find resources that will help me in my caregiving journey.
- The right to not take on the financial burden of caregiving all by myself.
- The right to make choices that will help me manage my stress without feeling guilt or depression that I am focusing on myself at times rather than solely on my loved one.
- The right to speak up and expect my close circle of friends and family to understand my caregiving role and to support me in any way they can.
- The right to expect "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" even while so much of my time, energy and attention is going to care for my loved one.
Remember, if you would like to read more from Sherri Snelling, check out her book, A Cast of Caregivers: Celebrity Stories to Help You Prepare to Care