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Caregiver Summer Reading: The Practical, Poignant and Pleasurable

Summer is the season when life slows down for some of us—but not for caregivers. On average, family caregivers spend 24.4 hours a week, 52 weeks a year, attending to their loved ones’ needs (according to an AARP study), and these responsibilities can make a vacation hard to schedule.

Still, it’s traditional to find some time to improve our skills or just our outlook with some summer reading. Last year I shared this list of caregiver books on the blog. Here are a few more staff picks for your consideration in 2016.

Our in-home elder caregiving staff suggests thesebooks that offer entertainment, knowledge, and catharsis for caregivers.

Did we miss a great book? Please tweet us your reading suggestions!

And be sure to follow our "Books for Caregivers" Pinterest board for more reading ideas all year long.

The Practical

Here are some book ideas that will help you manage your family's elder-care needs.

"The CareGiving Toolkit" by Arlene Gotshalk

The CareGiving Toolkit

By Arlene Gotshalk

This new book offers time-saving solutions, organizational structure, and checklists to help you manage the care of your loved one. Created by a professional trainer and educator, the content is presented in a logical and easy-reference format complete with online resources and printable forms.

Visit the CareGiving Toolkit official website here.

"How to Say It to Seniors" by David Solie

How to Say it to Seniors: Closing the Communication Gap with Our Elders

By David Solie

This is an older work that’s still useful today. The author explores and explains how the words and phrases you choose and other subtle changes can greatly influence or enhance the effectiveness of your communication across generational boundaries. It might also provide some valuable food for thought for opening and broadening channels of understanding in other relationships.

The author’s site is here

The Poignant

These great reads offer touching life advice that anyone who has gone through an elder-care situation—or is currently caring for a loved one—will find value in.

"Hard to Forget" by Charles P. Pierce

Hard to Forget

By Charles P. Pierce

This memoir by an Esquire editor tells the story of his experience with his father as the elder Pierce moves through the stages of Alzheimer’s disease. It departs from the narrative to discuss the science of Alzheimer’s in clear language and expresses the conflict endured by someone dealing with both the immediate and generational impact of the disease.

The book site is here

"The Theft of Memory: Losing My Father, One Day at a Time" by Jonathan Kozol

The Theft of Memory: Losing My Father One Day at a Time

By Jonathon Kozol 

Another father–son memoir, this one explains the experiences of Dr. Harry Kozol, a Harvard- and Hopkins-trained physician and noted authority on diseases of the brain, as he documents the case of his final patient: himself. Told by the subject’s son, an award-winning author, this story offers more than just a description of the last years of life, but a full portrait of, and appreciation for, the entire life of a special person.

More at the author’s site.  

The Pleasant

Looking for an easy yet relatable book for caregivers? Here are two great options.

"The Habit" by Susan Morse

The Habit

By Susan Morse

Most of us have experienced how our relationships with our parents evolve. In this funny and easy-to-read memoir, the author recounts her transition to caregiver and counselor as her mother makes some interesting—and very surprising—choices in later life.

The author’s site is here.

"Ca't we talk about something more PLEASANT?" A Memoir by Roz Chast

Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?

By Roz Chast

New Yorker cartoonist turns her pen and her sharp wit to exploring the many facets of communication, change, and a realization that comes with caring for aging parents. As she comes to accept her caregiving role, she gains an understanding of how her lifelong relationships with both of her parents have shaped her own life.

The author’s website is here.


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