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books on caregiving

Caregiver Reading Room: Top 10 Books on Caregiving

Whether you’re a caregiver by profession, caring for a loved one, or need support with memory care, feel inspired by stories of wisdom, courage, and hope included in these books on caregiving.

Give yourself the support you need to meet the many demands of caregiving.

Books are one of the easiest ways for a caregiver to seek support. Taking a few minutes for yourself each day to read books that fuel your purpose can provide much needed self-care.

Top 10 Books on Caregiving

1.  Passages in Caregiving: Turning Chaos into Confidence by Gail Sheehy

Author Gail Sheehy faced the trials, fears and joys of caregiving firsthand. She writes about the arc of caregiving, beginning with the first signs of needed care. From there she shares guidance for navigating the caregiving journey, which can be life-altering.

Learn more about Passages in Caregiving.

2.  AARP Meditations for Caregivers: Practical, Emotional, and Spiritual Support for You and Your Family by Barry J. Jacobs PsyD

This book covers accepting your feelings, knowing your limits, seeking support, and managing stress with the goal of offering “relief and renewal through mindfulness” and inspiring you to “find meaning and value in the work you do.”

The author includes stories from personal and clinical experiences, along with practical and psychological advice to develop coping skills and a sense of fulfillment.

Learn more about AARP Meditations for Caregivers.

3.  The Conscious Caregiver: A Mindful Approach to Caring for Your Loved One Without Losing Yourself By Linda Abbit

As a veteran of the caregiving industry, author Linda Abbit knows that caregivers often put themselves last, leading to burnout and exhaustion. Whether you’re a full-time caregiver, at home, or hiring outside support, her advice in this book teaches you how to navigate caregiving, from emotions, to finances, and making time for yourself.

Learn more about The Conscious Caregiver.

4.  Chicken Soup for the Soul: Family Caregivers: 101 Stories of Love, Sacrifice, and Bonding By Joan Lunden and Amy Newmark 

A collection of stories, this book includes perspectives from people of all ages taking care of family members at home and outside facilities. It includes caregiver stories from those who received care.

Meant to uplift those dealing with the challenges and meaningful moments of caregiving, it offers emotional support, alongside practical advice.

Learn more about Family Caregivers: 101 Stories of Love, Sacrifice, and Bonding.

5.  A Bittersweet Season: Caring for Our Aging Parents–and Ourselves by Jane Gross

Author Jane Gross is a longtime New York Times expert on elderly care. She took on the care of her 85 year-old mother and shares information that she wished she knew earlier.

The book covers topics including how to find our better selves, how to provide for your needs as a caretaker, the myths of assisted living, the best doctors, navigating Medicaid and Medicare, and the medical and mental science of ageing.

Learn more about A Bittersweet Season.

6.  Can’t We Talk about Something More Pleasant?: A Memoir by Roz Chast

This book provides a view on caretaking through the lens of a graphic novel.

New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast shares her story of caring for her ageing parents, which provides comedic relief, while also sharing the real and personal human emotions involved in caretaking.

The relatable themes include adult children taking on a parental role, transitioning to senior living and hiring outside help, uncomfortable next stages and adjusting to various levels of care and health.

Learn more about Can’t We Talk about Something More Pleasant?

7.  My Two Elaines: Learning, Coping, and Surviving as an Alzheimer’s Caregiver by Martin J. Schreiber

Former governor of Wisconsin Martin J. Schreiber took care of his wife Elaine as she dealt with Alzheimers’ disease. His intention is to offer candid advice for the caregiver’s own health, while respecting the Alzheimer’s patient.

Maria Shriver, Award-Winning Journalist and Founder of Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement said, “Marty shares a story of struggle that will resonate with caregivers. With a true public servant’s heart, he provides tips and encouragement sure to help male caregivers in particular.”

Learn more about My Two Elaines.

8.  The Caregiving Wife’s Handbook: Caring for Your Seriously Ill Husband, Caring for Yourself by Diana B. Denholm

Author Diana Denholm is a board certified medical psychotherapist and primary caregiver.

Her book is meant to help women maintain compassion and emotional wholeness while caring for their husbands in illness and death, without regret. It provides tools for communicating clearly about relationship issues unique to caregiving, as well as how to manage life’s responsibilities while caring for your spouse..

Learn more about The Caregiving Wife’s Handbook.

9.  The 36-Hour Day: A Family Guide to Caring for People Who Have Alzheimer Disease, Other Dementias, and Memory Loss, sixth edition by Nancy L. Mace and Peter V. Rabins

Often referred to as the ultimate guide for anyone caring for someone with dementia, this book is meant to help caregivers address the challenges of dementia while coping with their own emotions and needs. It provides practical resources, from making patients’ lives easier, to managing legal and insurance information, to choosing a senior living facility, to support groups for caregivers.

Learn more about The 36-Hour Day.

10.  Dementia Caregiver Guide By Teepa Snow

This book reinforces the impact of Teepa Snow’s person-centered care programs, including the Positive Approach to Care techniques. At every Kensington community, we have a specialized PAC trainer to help promote these methods of care. 

It’s a simple read meant to help caregivers understand the changes that come with advancing dementia or other impairments in thinking, reasoning, or processing information. It’s meant to help caregivers choose care that is more effective and less challenging for all involved.

Learn more about Dementia Caregiver Guide.

Caregiver Support

Taking time to observe your own experiences, as well as the experiences of the person you care for, can help you make adjustments that will help you provide care with purpose and strength.

Reading caregiving books is a simple way to learn and apply lessons to your personal situation to give yourself the support you need.

Photo by Kimberly Farmer on Unsplash



Recommended Additional Reading:

Cooking: Good for the Soul, Therapy for Memory Loss

Hidden Costs of Caregiving

Staying Connected with Seniors Amid Social Distancing

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