Many people aren’t prepared when they first become caregivers. They may find themselves in the role due to a sudden illness or injury. But, even when being a caregiver creeps up slowly, few people find themselves fully equipped for such a life-changing responsibility.
One way you can make life as a caregiver a little more manageable and easier is to educate yourself through reading. Not only can you learn more about being a caregiver through books, but you can also deal with the emotional impact by reading about how others have been impacted by the role.
Below are 5 books that should be on every caregiver’s “to be read” list.
Until I Say Good-Bye: My Year of Living with Joy by Susan Spencer-Wendel
Spencer-Wendel’s book is a memoir about her life after she was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s disease. The memoir shows the importance of seizing the time you have as well as that people with terminal illnesses can still lead a happy, full life in the time they have left. Caregivers will gain insight into the minds and hearts of family members living with chronic illness.
Living with Dying: A Complete Guide for Caregivers by Katie Ortlip and Jahnna Beecham
Living with Dying serves as a guide for caregivers, providing advice on how to deal with symptoms and offer the best care you can to your family member. It also helps caregivers to talk about difficult subjects with their aging relative. In addition, it gives step-by-step instructions to help you organize your loved one’s final affairs.
A Bittersweet Season: Caring for Our Aging Parents—And Ourselves by Jane Gross
Gross tells her own story of being a caregiver for her elderly mother, but also uses her background in journalism to tell the story of elder care in America. It tackles common issues caregivers face, like how to take care of your parent while also letting them keep a sense of dignity.
Chicken Soup for the Caregiver’s Soul by Jack Canfield, et.al.
This compilation of real-life stories about caregiving offers readers a source of inspiration. It allows them to see that they are not alone in their joys, fears, sorrows, and frustrations. The stories are meant to help caregivers maintain motivation to continue from one challenging day to the next.
While They’re Still Here: A Memoir by Patricia Williams
Williams became a caregiver to her elderly parents suddenly. The book deals with being a caregiver under difficult circumstances due to strained relationships. Williams talks about the impact that infidelity, alcoholism, differing politics, and more had on her role as a caregiver. Though the subject is weighty, Williams treats her experiences with a touch of humor that keeps readers entertained.