The Seven Best Books about Caregiving

Are you looking for a book about caregiving? If so, there are plenty of great ones out there. To help you narrow your focus we’ve highlighted the six best books about caregiving below. These books have consistently ranked in the top five on a variety of caregiving websites and blogs within the past three years. Check out the books and descriptions below and let us know which one is your favorite.

The 7 Best Books About Caregiving

We start our list with a monthly highlight of 128 Days and Counting: A 28-Year Old Caregiver's Memoir by Honore Nolting summarized by this customer review on Amazon.com: A wonderful book for anyone trying to better understand the multi-layer journey dealing with cancer and its aftermath. The author's humor keeps you entertained throughout while not diminishing the intensity of the situation. With cancer being something that touches far too many lives, this book does an amazing job helping individuals grasp what you could expect at each stage and offers insight to everyone involved (be it patient, caregiver, friend, family member). Take home points for me being communication and support are key to survival, and the journey is unfortunately not over when you hear "cancer free." Well done and good luck Honor and Tom!

128 Days and Counting: A 28-Year Old Caregiver's Memoir
By Honore Nolting

128 Days is a vivid and detailed account of a young couple during a cancer diagnosis and their relationship during the most difficult time of their lives. Honore and her husband, Tom, who went through chemo, an operation, and a difficult adjustment period, come alive in these pages as a loving and upbeat couple who are as familiar as your best friends. They are strong and scared, normal and quirky, determined and silly. Excerpts from the blog written during Tom’s cancer answer many questions about what it’s like to get cancer, and be a caregiver, as young adults. Honore’s raw and emotional account about every aspect of the experience, and their relationship brings the reader fully into the magnitude of the diagnosis but what lingers is the joy, resilience, and effervescence of love.

5/5

A wonderful book for anyone trying to better understand the multi-layer journey dealing with cancer and it’s aftermath. The author’s humor keeps you entertained throughout while not diminishing the intensity of the situation. With cancer being something that touches far too many lives, this book does an amazing job helping individuals grasp what you could expect at each stage and offers insight to everyone involved (be it patient, caregiver, friend, family member). Take home points for me being communication and support are key to survival and the journey is unfortunately not over when you hear “cancer free.” Well done and good luck Honor and Tom!

A Bittersweet Season: Caring for Our Aging Parents — and Ourselves
by Jane Gross

A Bittersweet Season: Caring for Our Aging Parents — and Ourselves by Jane GrossWhen Jane Gross found herself suddenly thrust into a caretaker role for her eighty-five year-old mother, she was forced to face challenges that she had never imagined. As she and her younger brother struggled to move her mother into an assisted living facility, deal with seemingly never-ending costs, and adapt to the demands on her time and psyche, she learned valuable and important lessons. Here, the longtime New York Times expert on the subject of elderly care and the founder of the New Old Age blog shares her frustrating, heartbreaking, enlightening, and ultimately redemptive journey, providing us along the way with valuable information that she wishes she had known earlier. Learn why finding a general practitioner with a specialty in geriatrics should be your first move when relocating a parent; how to deal with Medicaid and Medicare; how to understand and provide for your own needs as a caretaker; and much more. Wise, smart, and ever-helpful, A Bittersweet Season is an essential guide to caring for aging parents.

5/5

I read an article by Jane Gross and immediately bought this book. It motivated me to start “the conversation” with my Mom, schedule a meeting with her and my brothers, hire an elder care manager and lawyer, update her essential paperwork, and begin making choices about her estate. Still trying to find health care aides who will be a good fit, but I’m on the path. None of this has been easy, but it’s so necessary. Sincerest gratitude to Ms. Gross for this valuable resource!!

5/5

Everyone needs to read this book! That applies whether you are old, young or in between. We are not prepared as individuals, families or a society to meet the needs of the aging population. This very personal story puts the chronicles the experience of meeting the financial, logistical, medical and mental/emotional long term care needs and also provides helpful, usable information for the reader.

Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?
by Roz Chast, The New Yorker

Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?: A Memoir by Roz ChastIn her first memoir, New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast brings her signature wit to the topic of aging parents. Spanning the last several years of their lives and told through four-color cartoons, family photos, and documents, and a narrative as rife with laughs as it is with tears, Chast’s memoir is both comfort and comic relief for anyone experiencing the life-altering loss of elderly parents. While the particulars are Chast-ian in their idiosyncrasies--an anxious father who had relied heavily on his wife for stability as he slipped into dementia and a former assistant principal mother whose overbearing personality had sidelined Roz for decades--the themes are universal: adult children accepting a parental role; aging and unstable parents leaving a family home for an institution; dealing with uncomfortable physical intimacies; and hiring strangers to provide the most personal kind of care.

5/5

As a geriatrician working in palliative care (and with many Jewish patients of your parents’ generation), I am astounded by this book–even if only discovering it many years after it was published. Roz, you got everything just right–the ambivalence, sadness, love, humor, money worries, seeing people from their many imperfect and wonderful facets….and the irony. It is so perfect and so beautiful, and I hope it was healing for you to share your story so absolutely honestly with the world. Thank you a million times over.

4/5

This memoir is so honest (brutally so at times I suppose)and so well told with terrific humor, that I must say if you have an aging parent(s)that you are caring for, concerned about, worry about, wonder about or if you recently lost an elderly parent(s)who you took care of, this book let’s you know you aren’t alone while allowing you a moment or two to laugh (even through tears). Roz Chast expresses feelings that I think many people (certainly I) have felt during this journey – we simply don’t voice them and occasionally feel guilty for having the thoughts. It is good to know that the frustration and other feelings you have at times while dealing with a parent (especially one with dementia) is shared. For me, this book was like having drinks with a good friend. I believe, in the end, Roz showed her deep loving connection in her own perfect way via this book. I think it was expressed in a way her mother would have understood even if a few other reviewers didn’t.

Caring for Your Parents: The Complete Family Guide (AARP)
by Hugh Delehanty

Caring for Your Parents: The Complete Family Guide (AARP®) by Hugh DelehantyDrawing on AARP’s deep wellspring of expertise in the topic, AARP’s Caring for Your Parents offers both sensitive counsel and a practical road map through the complex emotional terrain many of us face as our parents age. This eye-opening book guides readers through a new, creative approach to caregiving that turns familial duty into a journey of emotional development and resolution.
Based on a 32-page National Magazine Award-nominated special feature, Caring for Your Parents documents the innovative ways that real people cope with this age-old issue. Throughout the book you will find useful, field-tested recommendations from AARP’s staff of experts. Topics explored in depth run the gamut from locating quality health care and dealing with the bureaucracy of Medicare to avoiding consumer scams, organizing caregiving from afar, and planning the disposition of an estate. There are tips on designing your parents’ house to make it more elder-friendly, navigating the hidden dangers of assisted living, and dealing with the invisible sibling issue. A resource guide in each chapter lists help lines, websites, and consumer action groups.

5/5

Great resource if you become caregiver. As well as just understanding the aging issues of parents and other loved ones.

4/5

As many of us are starting to take on the responsibilities for our parents, this book provides some great overview information on our concerns and on the concerns of our parents. I recommend this book as an easy read with lots of topics to scan.

The Caregiver’s Survival Handbook (Revised): Caring for Your Aging Parents Without Losing Yourself
by Alexis Abramson, PhD

The Caregiver's Survival Handbook (Revised): Caring for Your Aging Parents Without Losing Yourself by Alexis Abramson and Mary Anne DunkinBeing a caregiver can be rewarding but demanding work-and more than 40 million adult children find themselves experiencing the double duty of caring for their elders as they try to carry on a life of their own. The mission of this book is to help caregivers figure out how to look after aging loved ones, provide for other family members, and attend to their own career-without losing themselves in the process. In this supportive, reassuring, and practical guide, Doctor Alexis addresses the most pressing concerns, including such issues as how to: Get all family members to pitch in; Let go of feelings of guilt; Avoid conflict with an aging loved one; Foster independence in the elderly; Balance the demands on one's own time and resources.

5/5

This book offers meaningful ways to de-stress as you provide loving care to others. It beautifully demonstrates the importance of self-care, and wonderful meditations to guide you to inner peace and serenity. Caregiving is by nature stressful. This book provides a means to unwind and reconnect to your center thus enabling you to more fully embrace your role as a caregiver.

5/5

Speaking from a caregiver’s perspective, I appreciate the consideration this book gives to the forgotten side of aging. So few people consider their aging parents in the big picture. Realizing and accepting responsibility for your aging parents without losing your own priorities in the process is a balancing act and Dr. Abramson did an outstanding job of advocating the needs, concerns and issues associated with caregiving.

4/5

This Caregiver’s Guide has its great value in the support it wishes to give to the caregiver. In other words it does not have the same detailed focus on the actual practices of caregiving that other guides on caregiving do. Instead it wishes to encourage the caregiver to care about herself. I say ‘herself’ because the focus here is on the overwhelming majority of caregivers who are women. As is pointed out in the introduction these are often women with multi- generational responsibilities who simply do not have time, or according to the author give enough time to caring for themselves their own life. Having a good sense of humor about it all, maintaining one’s friendships and one’s own interests, not that is losing oneself to the caregiving in such a way as to be wholly lost in it is the major recommendation of this book. The book contains many illustrative stories and has a message which is of great importance. The problem of course is that it is far more difficult to put advice into practice than to know that it is correct.

AARP Meditations for Caregivers: Practical, Emotional and Spiritual Support for You and Your Family
by Barry J. Jacobs and Julia L. Mayer

AARP Meditations for Caregivers: Practical, Emotional, and Spiritual Support for You and Your Family by Barry J. Jacobs and Julia L. MayerFamily caregiving has its challenges: emotional overload, time constraints, anxiety, burnout, missed work, adult sibling conflicts, and marital issues. AARP Meditations for Caregivers blends emotional and spiritual motivation to minimize the strains while helping caregivers view their work as a mission from the heart. Chapters are organized by theme, including topics such as accepting your feelings, knowing your limits, seeking support, and managing stress. Each reading offers a poignant meditation, an anecdote drawn from the author's personal or clinical experience, and hands-on or psychological advice to foster coping skills and a sense of fulfillment. The meditations in this indispensable book will provide you with solutions to typical caregiving challenges, offer relief and renewal through mindfulness, and inspire you to find meaning and value in the work you do.

5/5

I recently became a caregiver for the second time. This book does a GREAT job expressing what it’s like to be a caregiver. After reading the book I bought a second copy to share with other caregiver’s that I know.

5/5

This book offers meaningful ways to de-stress as you provide loving care to others. It beautifully demonstrates the importance of self-care, and wonderful meditations to guide you to inner peace and serenity. Caregiving is by nature stressful. This book provides a means to unwind and reconnect to your center thus enabling you to more fully embrace your role as a caregiver.

Don’t Stop the Music: Finding the Joy in Caregiving
by Nancy Weckwerth

Don't Stop the Music: Finding the Joy in Caregiving by Nancy WeckwerthBased upon over twenty-five years of caregiving for Nancy Weckwerth’s friend and partner, John D. Swan, the book describes how to find the joy in caregiving. Don’t Stop the Music is a narrative of John’s acceptance of his disability and Nancy’s transformation to a caregiver. Nancy shares their journey through every triumph and challenge with honesty and openness. Her insights disclose the light, the lessons, and the laments that guided them across uncharted territory from surviving to thriving. Author Nancy Weckwerth has created a “survive and thrive” manual for Caregivers. The wisdom within is meaningful for any caregiving situation.

5/5

This gentle book helps us understand how opening our hearts to whatever challenge is in front of us, no matter how difficult, can transform both the challenge and ourselves.

5/5

This book represents a first hand account of taking on a care-taking role for a loved one touching upon all of the challenges, pressures and joys. This book is perfect for the person who is new to that role as matter of knowing what to expect and having a framework of support via the knowledge contained in the book. What I liked most were the break out sections entitled “Lessons Learned” which quickly summarized practical tips from real life occurrences.

5/5

What a refreshing & real look at the many challenging aspects of Caregiving. I am very grateful I got the chance to read this loving work. If you are looking for real ideas, practical tips and encouragement as a Caregiver I really suggest reading this book. Don’t Stop the Music: Finding the Joy in Caregiving

Pick up any or all of these books today and let us know what you think!


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