May 27, 2012

Self Responsibility

"I accept the responsibility for my own life." Raymond Charles Barker

As caregivers for someone with dementia, we are asked to take responsibility not only for our own lives, but for the life of the person for whom we provide care.  Tall order, and one that is not always welcome by the care receiver.  A friend told me recently that her spouse who has dementia told their son that she and another female caregiver were poisoning him.  Dwane in some of his adjustments to living in an assisted living facility told me he was going to turn me into the state's attorney for kidnapping.  So, we are put in a position where we take increased responsibility for someone else's life by necessity, and in some instances without their cooperation.  It is a good thing that safeguards are in place to protect against elder abuse.  It is also important that we make the best decisions we can in taking responsibility for our own lives and in ensuring the safety and well being of the care receiver. 

Part of taking responsibility for our own lives is to figure out -- and this may look different for each of us -- how to live our own lives AND be caregiver.  It is not in our best interest to abdicate our responsibility for our own lives.  That must be a top priority.  It does not serve the care receiver for us to abandon the responsibility we have to ourselves. 

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