What books about caregiving should you read to make you a better caregiver?
Caregiving is not easy. It’s physically and mentally draining and can be a thankless career at times.
Most of all, it can be a lonely path.
It’s comforting to know that you are not alone on the journey. And you are not handling isolated cases.
So today, I’m sharing some of the best books about caregiving to help you survive and thrive in these trying times.
This is one of the best books about caregiving that doctors and healthcare providers recommend.
It gives you an accurate image of what it is to take care of a patient with dementia.
The authors explain the causes of dementia and symptoms to watch out for in its early stages. They also discuss the best ways to determine the best living care options suitable for patients.
This book has also proven to be a must-have resource for new and experienced caregivers.
The data presented in the book is well-organized and well-indexed and readers have shared how easy it is to find information as needed.
It discusses information about caregiver tips and financial and legal advice. Difficult topics, such as strategies for coping with gradual loss, are also tackled.
Most readers are sharing how many practical insights they’re getting. The conversations about internal and external changes in dementia patients give them a good idea of what to expect.
One reader shared about their experience with food and nutrition.
Apparently, her mother-in-law was chewing her food too long. And when she checked the book, it talked about how dementia patients need prompts to remind them what to do.
Dementia patients can even forget to swallow. And since then, she started reminding her mother-in-law to swallow the food she’s been chewing.
This is a must-have book about caregiving that you should add to your bedside or somewhere you can easily reach.
Get a copy of The 36-Hour Day here.
Jane Gross, New York Times eldercare expert, shares her stories of love and sacrifice she faced caring for her 85-year-old mother.
What's great about this book is it brings a rare combination of a memoir and practical advice when caring for the elderly.
The author talks about her experience in taking care of her mother and how the family coped with her gradual decline.
That’s why it’s one of the best book recommendations you can get as a caregiver.
Many have regarded it as being relatable to their own experiences. And most readers say they feel less alone and more understood after reading the book.
One reader talked about the dynamics of her relationship with family members. Like how they could be best friends one day, and worst enemies the next.
Despite this, the book has helped them work together for the benefit of their aging parent.
It’s as real as it gets.
And what makes the book unique is its focus on assisted living facilities. She also recognizes her upper-middle-class status that enabled them to access more services and resources.
Gross zooms in on how adult caregivers and families combine their efforts to ensure the best care for the elderly.
She also discusses how primary caregivers can do self-care and keep their sanity throughout the experience.
Most say it’s a moving book, but it also takes a look at the ugly truth about the healthcare system for the elderly.
Gross talks about Medicare, Medicaid, and other medical information as they weave through their experience in hospitals and medical facilities.
She also talks about common-sense advice, like staying out of the emergency room as much as possible.
The book also talks about the burden and sacrifice of becoming a caregiver. It also talks about the pain of enduring gradual loss, and the death of their mother.
It is both inspiring and cautionary for every adult who eventually needs to care for their aging parents.
Get a copy of A Bittersweet Season here.
Degenerative diseases are always difficult to manage. Often, families who get the diagnosis never know how to handle the news.
And often it feels like a death sentence, especially if it’s cancer. That’s what happened to Jerry Bridge, author of Who Cares?.
Between 2000 and 2013, Jerry lost not one but three members of the family to cancer. At the same time, his father fell into a deep depression and almost lost his life.
Jerry served as the primary care provider of the family. And he suffered the devastating effects of caregiving.
He felt alone, depressed, and exhausted. He even started questioning his life’s worth and purpose.
Despite all things, Jerry found his way back to himself. And after some thorough work, he found renewal, reconciliation, and peace.
Jerry turned his harrowing experience into an inspirational book full of practical insights, tips, and a splash of humor here and there.
Who Cares? The Give and Take of Family Caregiving has been an inspirational book for caregivers for so long.
It has helped caregivers become better at managing the unforeseen and devastating effects of caring for sick family members.
Get a copy of Who Cares? The Give and Take of Family Caregiving here.
We all have different reasons for reading self-help workbooks. And this one is another recommendation for books about caregiving you should put on your list.
It’s a how-to guide on relaxation and stress reduction. It covers a wide range of cultures and medical specialties.
At the start, there are many assessment activities to help you identify the type of stress you're dealing with.
There are also relaxation techniques that are effective in lowering stress. It teaches you techniques such as visualization, meditation, and deep breathing.
A huge part of management comes from awareness. And this workbook shows you your patterns and tendencies.
Parts of it contain worksheets that help you track and manage your emotions and stress levels.
Once you become aware of your stressors, you become wiser in how you approach them. That’s why it’s become such an effective tool for anyone with high stress jobs.
Many have used it for individuals in pain or with other stress-related disorders.
It serves as a guide for them to assess how their bodies react to stressors. It also gives you a wide range of responses you can use when you’re under stress.
The techniques are simple to learn and use in various contexts, and the text is written in an easy-to-understand style.
But, just like any skill, the methods will need practice, time, and patience to see results.
This is a comprehensive book that may be a bit overwhelming to others. If you prefer short read guides for quick reference - this one might not be the best for you.
Get your copy of The Relaxation and Stress Reduction Workbook here.
Roz Chast, a cartoonist for the New Yorker, tackles the theme of aging parents with her trademark wit — a more lighthearted approach and dark humor.
Her memoir is both pleasure and comic relief for anyone dealing with the life-altering loss of elderly parents.
Chast’s distinct style is light yet heartwarming. And she discusses heavy topics such as death and despair with her own brand of comedy.
Image courtesy of Newyorker.com
The cartoons are three-dimensional accounts of her life.
Chast's drawings are spot-on representations of her experience Her cartoons also have many hidden details, such as the delicate expressions that develop on the characters' faces.
As an only child, she finds both humor and sorrow in caring for her aging parents.
It can be an emotional roller coaster, especially for those not in the medical or elder care professions.
The comics depict how one moment can be sweet and touching then extremely morbid the next.
One reader describes the book as unflinchingly honest, and yet comforting during an exquisitely sensitive and demanding period.
It talks about the realities of caring for the elderly. From finding the best place for parents to dealing with health professionals, and dealing with the guilt of watching your parents fade away.
And while it offers a humorous take on elderly care, it still paints a bittersweet picture of what caregivers go through.
Get your copy of Can't We Talk about Something More Pleasant? here.
It can be scary and overwhelming to begin the process of caring for an aging parent.
But it’s also good to know that you are not alone in this experience.
Whether it’s your first time caring for a parent, or dealing with the late stages of life, there’s always someone you can reach out to for help.
Sometimes it’s in the form of a book about caregiving. At times it will be a community on social media.
Things might be confusing and tiring, and you don’t have to do it alone.
Remember, all you need to do is reach out to get the help you need.
That's all for today.
Take care, keep mom safe and have a great day!