ReadersMagnet recommends these five important books that talk about family caregiving.
Caring for our sick and elderly family members is never an easy task. It takes courage and patience to be able to provide nursing care, physical presence, emotional and mental support, as well as commitment. For those who have experienced caring for their sick or dying loved ones, these are very sad and trying times. But these are also the moments when we find courage, learn to hope, and embrace lessons we never thought we would encounter. Below are five remarkable books that talks about family caregiving that we think are worth reading.
A Bittersweet Season by Jane Gross
Published almost 10 years ago in 2011, A Bittersweet Season by Jane Gross follows her story as a caretaker for her eighty-five-year-old mother. In her book, Jane recalls how she and her brother face the challenges of being family caregivers. Janes takes her readers to her journey that is filled with frustration, lessons, and discoveries by providing first-hand accounts on geriatrics, Medicaid, Medicare, and understanding the needs of both patient and caregiver. Jane Gross is a New York Times expert on elderly care and founder of the New Old Age blog. A Bittersweet Season is a book that is filled with practical lessons and important notes on taking care of elderly family members.
One Caregiver’s Journey by Eleanor Gaccetta
One Caregivers Journey is a memoir written by Eleanor “Ellie” Gaccetta. Gaccetta, a sole caregiver for a loved one recalls how she spent almost a decade taking care of her mom who suffered a hip injury at age 91. Ellie took on the role of sole family caregiver for more than 9 years before her mother passed away at age 102. One Caregiver’s Journey, although not written from a professional caregiver’s point of view is rich with lessons, essential guides, and inspiration for all family caregivers and professional health care workers. Here, Ellie writes about the challenges, the changes, the triumphs, as well as the learning curves that made her a better person. One Caregiver’s Journey is a treasure read to say the very least.
The 36-Hour Day by Nancy L. Mace and Peter V. Rabins
More than three decades since its publication, The 36-Hour Day remains one of the most essential materials on caregiving for patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Truly a valuable guide for family members and professional caregivers handling Alzheimer’s, the book covers many aspects of caregiving. The book helps address the many concerns including the following:
• devices to make life simpler and safer for people who have dementia
• strategies for delaying behavioral and neuropsychiatric symptoms
• changes in Medicare and other health care insurance laws
• palliative care, hospice care, durable power of attorney, and guardianship
• dementia due to traumatic brain injury
• choosing a residential care facility
• support groups for caregivers, friends, and family members
Caring for Your Parents by Hugh Delehanty
Caring for Your Parents is a practical guidebook for caring for the elderly. It was published by Hugh Delehanty in 2005. It is deeply inspired by AARP’s (Association of American Retired Persons) deep expertise on the topic of elderly care. It is a comprehensive manual that features a new and creative approach to caregiving and transforms the traditional family duty into a journey of learning new things, emotional development, and skill improvement. It contains field-tested recommendations from AARP’s staff of experts including tips on dealing with Medicare, avoiding consumer scams, and organizing caregiving. It is a must-read book for anyone who wants to deepen their understanding of caregiving for the elderly.
When Time Comes by Paula Span
When Time Comes is a heart-warming book by journalist Paula Span. Published in 2009, it features various stories of families dealing with a heart attack or stroke and how each family contemplates the alternatives in elderly care: from assisted living to multigenerational living to home care, nursing care, and at the end, hospice care. Each family’s story is unique and yet provides similarities in terms of challenges and practical approaches. Here, Span records their ordeal as well as the narrative on how each family was able to make the right decisions and eventually overcome certain obstacles. When Time Comes is a collection of narratives rich with lessons and insights on caring for the elderly and the sick.