Must-Reads for Awesome Caregiving Skills

When faced with a challenge, the first thing you need is information. The old adage “Knowledge is power” has never been more true than when one faces caregiving.  Some of our favorite caregiving resources are available electronically, from your local library, and book retailers.

(* indicates Dementia specific resource)

Caring for Your Aging Parents (2009) is written by Raeann Berman and Bernard Shulman, MD. It focuses on the emotions involved with caregiving and how to protect and maintain your own mental health while being a caregiver.

*Elder Rage- or Take My Father, Please! (2001, ebook 2010) was written by Jacqueline Marcell. The author gives important information on caregiving for families where  relationship challenges pre-exist the memory disorder.

*Hiding the Stranger in the Mirror: a Detectives Manual for solving problems associated with Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders (2012) is a new book by Cameron Camp, PhD. This is a brilliantly written, easy-to-read guide to dealing with all kinds of behaviors.

*Learning to Speak Alzheimer’s (2004), authored by Joanne Koenig-Coste, is a superb method for caregivers of people with any kind of memory loss.  With a focus on remaining skills, communication and the environment, this book teaches readers the best-practices of communication and the habilitation approach.

Passages in Caregiving: Turning Chaos into Confidence (2010) is written by Gail Sheehy who first described human development and stages of aging in her groundbreaking book Passages (1974). In this book, she describes 9 steps that caregivers need to negotiate to be successful.

*Still Alice (2009) was written by Lisa Genova, a Harvard-PhD neuroscientist and author.  Although fictional, it is very realistic as it chronicles a woman’s experience with younger-onset Alzheimer’s disease.  This book spent more than 40-weeks on the best-seller list for a reason – it’s haunting as it gives caregivers insight into the experience of a person with progressing dementia.

*The 36-Hour Day (current ed., 2012) by Peter Rabins and Nancy Mace remains THE premier resource for caregivers of persons with memory disorders. This is not a traditional book read cover to cover; rather it is one you peruse problem by problem, a chapter at a time when you need it.

The Complete Eldercare Planner, Revised and Updated Edition: Where to Start, Which Questions to Ask, and How to Find Help (2009) by Joy Loverde is a good, comprehensive guide to all the issues that families might face in caring for older adults. It includes everything from communication to housing to end of life issues.

*The Complete Guide to Alzheimer’s-Proofing Your Home (2000) by Mark Warner is still one of our favorite books. It gives terrific information about memory disorders, as well as resources and tips on keeping people in the home of their choice as long as possible. Although some of the resources may be out of date, it will give you ideas about what technology and strategies can minimize household risks.

Who Says Men Don’t Care? A Man’s Guide to Balanced and Guilt-Free Caregiving (2011)  was written by James Gambone, PhD and Rhonda Travland, MS. It is an easy to read caregiving resource directed for male caregivers in the 21st century. This resource helps caregivers identify their personal strengths and weaknesses, to find out the type of caregivers they are. Are you the Angry Man, the Lone Wolf, the Techno-Virtual Caregiver, the Manager, the Worker, the Perfectionist or a combination of each?