First published in the early ‘80s, The 36-Hour Day is the definitive dementia care guide. This best-seller from Johns Hopkins is an indispensable resource, offering comprehensive support, direction, and comfort for families, friends, and professionals who provide home care. Caregiving suggestions come from people who have experienced symptoms of dementia themselves, other caregivers, and Alzheimer’s professionals and advocates. Useful takeaway messages address challenges that are unique to people afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease, memory loss, and dementia disorders and their caregivers.
Topics encompass the progressive disease from beginning to end, including defining dementia, getting medical help, recognizing and managing symptoms, when independent living turns into daily care, associated medical problems, resources, managing your role as a caregiver, caring for yourself, financial and legal issues, long-term care arrangements, preventing and delaying cognitive decline, causes of dementia, and research.
This best-seller has been featured on ABC, AARP, and in The Washington Post. A road map for adult children, How to Care for Aging Parents covers everything from the first conversation with mom or dad about needing assistance to funeral arrangements. Thorough and invaluable, this how-to combines personal experience with expert advice to support those caring for an elderly parent, relative, or friend—particularly the sandwich generation who is also raising a family.
The comprehensive manual is well-organized with manageable, with easy-to-read chapters that follow a logical progression. How to Care for Aging Parents features practical advice on home care, finances, fraud, nursing homes/hospitals, legal issues, and medical/safety concerns. There’s also advice for caregivers for dealing with their emotions, from sibling conflict to grief.
Useful resources are scattered throughout the book, including helpful agencies, online resources, and other reference information. Charts help explain complex topics like housing options, while checklists, like the one on what to take to the hospital, make sure you have all your bases covered. The back of the book has fill-in worksheets for information on medications, doctor contact info, and other essential details.
Health educator Debbie Barr put together this book of daily devotions that offers faith-based encouragement for caregivers of people struggling with dementia. Each short devotion features a relatable caregiving story and scripture that addresses practical hardships and spiritual concerns and includes writing prompts for journaling. This book offers care for the caregiver of someone with Alzheimer’s or another type of dementia. Grace for the Unexpected Journey would make a great gift, but not necessarily if the caregiver isn’t of the Christian faith, as the text leans heavily on the word of God.
Got a lot of questions about eldercare? Joy Loverde has a lot of answers. Four hundred pages worth, in fact. A leading consultant in the senior/active adult industry for decades, Joy has shared her expertise with Today, the CBS Early Show, NPR, USA Today, the Wall Street Journal, and Consumer Reports.
The Complete Eldercare Planner is a place to start when you’re thrust into the world of planning and managing eldercare and caregiving issues. The author recognizes that not all families are the same, and each caregiving situation has its own unique and complex challenges. Create your customized caregiving strategies with this comprehensive and practical guide.
Specifically, The Complete Eldercare Planner offers tips on prioritizing tasks, balancing work, and navigating eldercare services. This edition is expanded to include internet resources and downloadable documents, like checklists, worksheets, step-by-step action plans, lists of questions to ask, resources, and more.
Jane Gross founded the Times blog The New Old Age and taught journalism at the University of California, Berkeley, and Columbia University, and was a John S. Knight Fellowship recipient. Gross found herself utterly clueless when she was suddenly thrust into the role of caretaker for her 85-year-old mother. In this smart, detailed book, Gross shares her “frustrating, heartbreaking, enlightening, and ultimately redemptive journey” navigating the complex eldercare system in a forthright, informative way. In this essential guide to caring for aging parents, Gross offers valuable information on topics from healthcare and insurance to end-of-life with a “mix of sage advice, pithy insights, and practical discoveries”.
Don’t dismiss this #1 New York Times Bestseller because of its cartoons. In her graphic memoir, author Roz Chast, a cartoonist for the New Yorker, humorously illustrates her struggles with aging parents. Through a mix of honesty, compassion, and humor, Chast will make you laugh and cry as she recounts her parents’ foibles and phobias, hoarding, and occasional irrationality as well as her own doubts, fears, and paradoxical feelings. While not a caregiving guide, the book can help caregivers face their own feelings and difficulties while caring for a loved one.
Obviously not every book is going to be suitable for every caregiver–there are a number of factors to consider when choosing the right book for you and your loved one’s needs.
E-Books are great because you don’t have to wait for delivery—you can start reading on your device immediately. Most of the time the e-book version is less expensive than the hard copy. However, many informative texts on elderly caregiving provide fill-in worksheets, writing prompts, and checklists for the reader, in which case the paper version would be necessary to complete.
Make sure the subject matter pertains to your unique situation. Many caregiving books are geared toward specific audiences, including those caring for their elderly parents, a more general guide, or people caring for someone with dementia.
Obviously you want to get information from a reliable, trusted source. Check the author’s credentials and qualifications. Have they or the book won awards? Informative texts should be written by a journalist, educator, or professional. Of course, memoirs will be written by someone who has experience, preferably in writing as well as caregiving.
If you’re clueless about caregiving, buy an everyday guide. If you’re looking for commiseration, a memoir by someone who’s been there will make you feel less alone or could help you deal with your own emotions. Looking for more of a spiritual pick-me-up? Daily devotionals are the way to go. Some books have sections for journaling or self-reflection, so consider if that is a feature that is valuable to you.