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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Susan Richardson, MA, PsyD (Private Practice)
Description: This is a self-help/reference book for people in the position of caring for sick, aging, or dying parents.
Purpose: The author's purpose is to help adults who are caring for aging and/or dying parents understand the depth of the process they are involved in and to recognize the limits they have emotionally, physically, and spiritually. This has been a neglected area that is gaining importance as this country grays and ages.
Audience: This book can be used by anyone caring for a sick or aging parent. It is a good resource for mental health professionals to draw upon as well, as caregiver burnout issues frequently lead to depression and anxiety as well as family conflicts. These issues frequently find caregivers turning to therapy to deepen their resources. The author is a therapist and a journalist who writes about caregiving issues frequently in the National Family Caregivers Association newsletter quarterly.
Features: The book presents the key issues and concepts of caregiving predominantly from the process of a family suddenly having to care for the matriarch. The author provides an insightful and realistic depiction of the type of issues and conflicts that come up within the individual and within the family. He includes the perspective of the aging parent as well. He covers the topic from the first days to the last days of the caregiving, providing meaningful context for the first time caregiver.
Assessment: This is a readable, accessible and useful book that grapples with an emotionally difficult area. It is important for people to understand how to care for themselves during the devastating years of parental decline and this book is well worth reading.