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Caregiver Library


I’ve never been a big reader of books. Curling up with a good book has just never tickled my fancy. Every once in a great while, I would pick-up a good self-help book - after all, I could use a little help for myself. Once I became a mother, it seemed I had a good excuse for not being a bookworm: I was simply too busy.

Recently, however, something in my life changed and I felt an unusual desire to pick up a book. (To be completely honest, that “something” was my grandmother’s deteriorating condition and the lack of any television in the house to distract me.)

I went on a fury searching for a good book for caregivers. I wanted information, support and inspiration. I figured it wasn’t likely I would find all of that in just one book, so what I ended up with is a little caregiver library. 

Stages of Senior Care by Paul and Lori Hogan
This is about as complete as you can get when looking for a guide on senior care. This book can help you no matter where in the process you are. It covers topics like planning early, finding the right place for your loved one (home, senior center, assisted living, etc.), finances, hospice, funerals, caring for the caregiver, and planning your own care. This is one of the must-haves and one you will reference often.

A Bittersweet Season: Caring for Our Aging Parents and Ourselves by Jane Gross
This is Jane’s true story of caring for her mother. It will make you laugh, cry and want to scream – sometimes all on the same page. It reads like fiction, but any seasoned caregiver will know you just can’t make this stuff up.

Helping Yourself Help Others: A Book For Caregivers by Rosalynn Carter
Rosalynn Carter cared for both her ailing father and grandfather. She shares her lessons learned and offers advice to other caregivers on how to cope with isolation, burnout, anger, helplessness and other common issues faced in caregiving.

For Caregivers With Love by Greta Rey
Greta Rey created this devotional for caregivers in response to her own role as a caregiver. With sections titled Strength, Wisdom, and Peace any caregiver can quickly find the words they need to get through any situation.

Still Alice by Lisa Genova
This story of Alice, who is diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s, is the only (but hopefully not last) fictional piece in my caregiver collection. While most books are written from the perspective of the caregiver, Still Alice is told from the point of view of the woman suffering with the disease. It is haunting, disturbing, and an incredibly difficult look at a horrible disease.

That is a peek at the caregiver books on my shelf. What books have helped you through your caregiving journey?

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Thoughts and stories from others
  1. October 28, 2011 at 1:23 pm | Posted by Suzanne

    I liked reading Christopher Reeve's book "Still Me". As I look at my aging parents, I am reminded that they are still the same people who fell in love, raised us kids, and danced the night away at my wedding. Just last night my mom mentioned participating in a road rally in New Jersey with my father in the mid-60's, before they were married. I had a vague recollection of this story, but it helped me see the more adventurous, fun-loving side of a woman who has become anxious, introverted, and house-bound as she battles cancer. Inspirational stories help me keep my soul refreshed as I care for my parents and family.


    • October 28, 2011 at 1:25 pm | Posted by Cat Koehler

      We all need a little inspiration now and again! You're right, Suzanne - it gives our souls that little extra boost!


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