Caregiving is often stressful and frustrating. With limited time available, caregivers may not be able to attend support groups or other common stress-relief outlets. Books are a good way to gain information and relieve anxiety. A caregiver can pick a book up when they have a spare minute. Reading can help ease the feeling of helplessness that often comes with caring for an aging parent.
It can be a book that provides tips for common issues or a story about someone else's experience so the caregiver knows they are not alone. If you are providing care for your aging parent, consider reading the following caregiver books.
1. A Bittersweet Season: Caring for Our Aging Parents—and Ourselves
This book by Jane Gross provides both information and support for caregivers. The book covers how to handle elder care in the United States including aspects of Medicare. It also provides the author's honest perspective about caring for her aging parents. She reassures readers and gives advice that is useful.
2. When the Time Comes: Families with Aging Parents Share Their Struggles and Solutions
This book by Paula Span provides caregivers a perspective that they are doing good enough providing for their aging parents even if they don't feel that way most days. Caregivers may not always have the perfect solutions, but the solutions they have will work. That is the ultimate goal. The book also examines families determining the best place for their elderly parents to live as they age. This is a common issue many caregivers can relate to.
This book by Hugh Delehanty and Elinor Ginzler covers common issues like Medicare, taking care of the caregiver, financial conversations, home safety, and more. This book provides expert advice to caregivers, but also includes real stories from other caregivers taking care of an aging parent. Lists of resources are helpful for those seeking additional information or support.
4. Dr. Ruth's Guide for the Alzheimer's Caregiver: How to Care for Your Loved One Without Getting Overwhelmed... and Without Doing It All Yourself
Dr. Ruth, a prominent relationship therapist, details productive ways to resolve arguments, avoid burnout, and most importantly how to ask for help when you need it while caring for a person with Alzheimer's.
5. They're Your Parents, Too!: How Siblings Can Survive Their Parents' Aging Without Driving Each Other Crazy
In this book Francine Russo tackles an important problem, as too often you may be the only sibling taking care of mom and dad, or another sibling may be insisting upon doing all the work himself. You will learn to address sibling-sibling tension before the big fight occurs and how best to manage the workload of being caregivers together.
6. Family Meals: Coming Together to Care for an Aging Parent
After his wife's father's death, Michael Tucker put his dream life in Italy on hold to take care of her rapidly declining mother. A masterful memoir, this book is perfect for spouses tending to the needs of an aging loved one and the challenges they will face.
7. Ten Thousand Joys & Ten Thousand Sorrows: A Couple's Journey Through Alzheimer's
While this is a story about a couple's journey with Alzheimer's, the lessons found in these pages can translate to any caregiver/senior-dependent relationship. Olivia Ames Hoblitzelle emphasizes the importance of presence, even in the face of a mind-stealing illness. Not only can you survive this, she argues, but you can become a better person for it.
8. Doing the Right Thing: Taking Care of Your Elderly Parents Even if They Didn’t Take Care of You
Some people find themselves responsible for caring for a parent that they resent. The parent wasn't around when they were a child or didn't treat them properly. This is a difficult, uncomfortable situation but it may actually result in a healing that neither person imagined possible. If you have a negative memory of your childhood, consider reading this book by Roberta Satow to help you put the issues in the past and move forward successfully.
Virginia Morris's book is another easy to understand book that covers complicated issues. This book must be good with the backing by AARP. The book is thick and covers a lot including getting organized with scheduling.
Being a caregiver for an aging parent, you will likely face questions and frustrations. Turning to a book will provide answers and emotional support. And for more support, see our caregiver toolkit.
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