Passages in Caregiving: Turning Chaos into Confidence

Passages in Caregiving: Turning Chaos into Confidence

by Gail Sheehy


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061661211
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 05/24/2011
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 143,927
Product dimensions: 5.22(w) x 7.98(h) x 0.98(d)

About the Author

Gail Sheehy is the author of seventeen books, including the classic New York Times bestseller Passages, named one of the ten most influential books of our times by the Library of Congress. A multiple-award-winning literary journalist, she was one of the original contributors to New York magazine and has been a contributing editor to Vanity Fair since 1984. A popular lecturer, Sheehy was named AARP's Ambassador of Caregiving in 2009.


New York City and Berkeley, California

Date of Birth:

November 27, 1937


B.A., University of Vermont; M.A., Columbia School of Journalism

What People are Saying About This

Bill Moyers

“Trust me: there is no better guide to caregiving.”

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Passages in Caregiving 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found this book irritating. It is, at best, a glimpse into a wealthy celebrity's journey as a caregiver, interspersed with current contacts for resources. The overriding message is, you need to have help if you are a caregiver. Some of the ideas and resources may be helpful. However, as the primary caregiver for my 93-year-old mother with dementia, and not living in a large city with an abundance of resources or relatives, the book seemed formulaic and opportunistic for a prolific writer, and did not reach my angst. In fact, it proved more of a problem to read about someone who was able to take her loved one on a trip to France; own homes in New York City, Long Island, and Berkeley; have private housekeepers, massage therapists and yoga instructors; and have access to very specialized care because of social contacts and the means to pay for everything. Easy for her to recommend that I take a single day or weekend for myself each month and have a week's vacation within six months! The "passages" of caregiving seem to relate best to the author's personal experience and not ones which all of us go through.
JMarcell More than 1 year ago
I wish I'd had this book when I began caring for my elderly parents--would have saved me a fortune in Kleenex! Packed with information caregivers need, and presented in an easy to understand way. I have always enjoyed Gail's books and this is another success. --Jacqueline Marcell, Author 'Elder Rage', International Speaker on Eldercare & Alzheimer's, Host 'Coping With Caregiving' Internet Radio Show at wsRadio
Beerwhiz More than 1 year ago
A great self-journey through the Medical/Social Maze of Home & Institutional Healthcare for the terminally ill client and the Primary Caregiver. Even the 5-Star rating does not really give it justice as it is off the scale higher than 5-start. I am employed as a Hospice R.N. and I recommend this book to any of my Primary Caregivers who could benefit from this book which is most if not all of the caregivers and family, significant others and friends of the client.
wdwilson3 on LibraryThing 4 days ago
Having five years¿ experience caregiving to my spouse, I appreciate what Gail Sheehy has set out to do in this book, outline the various phases of the caregiver experience, or ¿turnings¿ as she calls them. It¿s a comfort to know that others feel what you feel and it¿s valuable to know of the resources that Sheehy lists. The generalized trajectory of caregiving is interspersed with Sheehy¿s own years-long care for her husband and with the stories of other caregivers, so the lessons are real and heartfelt. I thought several times while I was reading, ¿I wish someone had told me that before I experienced it!¿That being said, I¿m afraid the book is considerably undercut by the rarified social circle lived in by Sheehy and her late husband, magazine editor/publisher Clay Felker. I couldn¿t help thinking as I read, ¿Gee, maybe Tom Wolfe will come read his new essay to my wife, or I could call up Diane Sawyer for her advice, and maybe I¿ll get the country¿s best surgeons to give us a second opinion.¿ Mind you, I feel that we have our own wonderful resources for aid, medical and otherwise. How otherworldly Sheehy¿s life must seem to so many poor and isolated caregivers who might read this book. I¿m afraid that to many, the underlying message of the book will be undercut by the penthouse, the home in the Hamptons, and unwinding at a Mexican health spa.It was Sheehy¿s life, it was her experience, and I can make the argument that it wouldn¿t have been honest for her to write it in any other way. And she is a gifted writer, so if you can put these considerations to one side while you read, the book will provide valuable insights, particularly at the outset of the caregiving journey.
detailmuse on LibraryThing 4 days ago
In Passages in Caregiving, Gail Sheehy chronicles the psychological, emotional, and logistical stages involved in providing care to chronically ill and dying loved ones.Part self-help, part resource guide, and part memoir, it¿s okay in each part and good in the overall aggregate. The self-help aspect is probably strongest, where readers will recognize themselves in the caregiver stories Sheehy shares to illustrate her continuum of eight caregiver ¿passages¿ -- from the initial shock of illness and life¿s new normal, through the accumulation of events than can lead to control issues and despair, to acceptance and letting go. The resource-guide aspect is probably weakest -- resources are buried throughout the text rather than collected in an easy-reference appendix, and they¿re mostly useful to people who are already rich in resources (time, energy, connections, money).And Sheehy¿s personal experience of giving care during her husband¿s 17-year illness is somewhere in between. Whereas the stories about other caregivers are easy to read -- illustrative and objective -- her own memoir-ish passages are illustrative but close-in personal. That felt presumptuous, and I felt resentful and then insensitive when I didn't want to keep diving into Sheehy's deep waters. Those passages are all in italics, and eventually I skipped them and came back, after I finished the book, and read them all together.It¿s eye-opening about how few caregiving resources there are, and how difficult they can be to access. A good companion book to show caregivers they¿re not alone, but not suitable as a sole source.(Review based on a finished copy of the book provided by the publisher.)
PhaedraB on LibraryThing 4 days ago
I have extremely mixed feeling about this book. On the plus side, Sheehy is an excellent writer. Her personal accounts, based on the journals she kept during 17 years of caregiving for her husband, are rich and emotionally spot on. She includes laser-sharp analyses of the financial incentives that keep the current healthcare system doing what it's doing for the chronically or terminally ill, most of which give no advantage whatsoever to the caregiver at home, the family, or--all too often--the patient. It really helped me understand what's going on with care for my husband. On the down side, so many of her practical suggestions are staggeringly useless unless you are in as high an income bracket as she. Take care of yourself by taking a week to go to a spa every year. Yeah, in my dreams. Hire your own round-the-clock staff. Right. Let's see, divide my income by 24/7--oops, that's a little short of the $15-$20/hr she suggests you pay them. Move your residence to wherever doctor du jour happens to be, but still maintain your other two homes. My goodness, why didn't I think of that?Tell me, what do the simple folk do?
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I am a caregiver for my husband who has had a stroke. I found this book extremely helpful. Lots of good info and reference materials. We are not walking this road alone!
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Despr8Caregiver More than 1 year ago
Gail Sheehy has been a guiding light in my life. Now again she is leading the way. See more in Gail Sheehy's New Book Offers Comfort for Caregivers