Like the 44 million other Americans caring for an ill or elderly person in their homes, prolific writer Sheehy looked after her late husband Clay Felker while he battled cancer for more than a decade. Having already chronicled almost every stage in baby boomer life (most notably in 1976's Passages), Sheehy offers an empathetic, well-researched guide to an unfamiliar, often scary role to which boomers are being initiated, outlining eight stages of caregiving from "Shock and Mobilization" to "The Long Good-Bye." Along with doctors and nurses, home caregivers have become the backbone of the (admittedly broken) U.S. health-care system, and an increasingly important part of a patient's decision-making team. As such, Sheehy contends, caregivers are in desperate need of knowledge and support, and this resourceful manifesto provides it, including practical steps to take, strategies for each point of care, likely obstacles for both patient and caregiver, and a lucid explanation of what's to come: "My intention is to illuminate the challenges and rewards inherent in the caregiving passage-to identify universal patterns in the chaos and give the journey a form that makes sense." Sheehy achieves her goal ably, providing a steady beacon during a time of great sadness and overwhelming responsibility.
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As a longtime champion for family caregivers, I am delighted that Gail Sheehy has brought this passage vividly to life from her own long experience and that of many others’. This is one of those rare books that can drastically lighten even the heaviest of loads.
I expect Passages in Caregiving to be the manual for caregivers for generations to come. Gail Sheehy has addressed every possible situation in an engaging, timely, and easy-to-follow manner.
In this insightful book that combines a moving firsthand account of her own journey and valuable strategies for navigating the labyrinth of care-giving, Gail Sheehy takes the mystery out of what can be a baffling, heart-rending experience. A must-read for anyone who gets the Call.
No longer will you have to blindly navigate the murky corridors of caregiving. You have an easy-to-read roadmap right here.
More and more people are left to deal with late stage healthcare on their own. Gail Sheehy’s masterfully researched and written book comes at a perfect time, when people need it most.
Trust me: there is no better guide to caregiving.