You’ve graciously offered to take care of someone during a difficult time in their life; perhaps they’re terminally ill or profoundly handicapped. Perhaps it’s a parent, grandparent, a disabled child. Those around you tell you what a wonderful person you are and how rewarding it must feel to be a source of help. And that may be true, but they don’t see the sleepless nights, chores that are never done (and some that are pretty gross), the thankless and menial tasks, the forfeiture of freedom and time spent alone. It is rewarding, yes, but it can also be overwhelming, stressful, and downright depressing. Here are five books that’ll help lift your spirits and pull you through.
1. The Art of Caregiving: How to Lend Support and Encouragement to Those with Cancer by Michael S. Barry
Barry acknowledges that a caregiver’s role in a patient’s battle against cancer is one of the most influential, even though they may not have the medical knowledge or training as the patient’s team of physicians does. In this guide, he offers methods of coping with the stress and creating moments of joy even in a time of sorrow and uncertainty.
2. Things I Wish I’d Known: Cancer Caregivers Speak Out by Deborah J. Cornwall
Cornwall’s book is a wealth of research; through over 100 interviews with cancer caregivers, she reveals the things that they wish they’d known when they began their journey, from financial to legal, physical, and emotional issues. Her’s is a comprehensive guide of the practical things new caregivers need to know.
3. Courageous Caregiver: Support, Encouragement, and Tools to Aid our Heroes who Partake in Home Healthcare for Those with Dementia by Curtis L. Walker
Walker’s self-published book follows those who participated in the care of his sister, Annette, in her battle with dementia. He offers encouragement and inspiration as well as a view of his own personal growth as a caregiver; you’re likely to see yourself in many of his reflections.
4. My Turn to Care: Encouragement for Caregivers of Aging Parents by Marlene Bagnull
Bagnull’s guide offers devotionals, poetry, and personal stories from over one hundred people who are caring for elderly parents. Just about everyone will end up having to take on this task to some degree; Bagnull’s encouragement makes navigating those waters a bit less overwhelming.
5. The Person Beside the Bed by Jo Angelia Simpson
Simpson’s book is for the caregiver and his or her loved ones alike. She offers inspiration, tips, and insights for the caregiver, but also includes information for how to show that person in your life that you appreciate and care for them as well.
If you find yourself in the role of caregiver, be prepared; it’s not easy, and it doesn’t get any easier over time. However, there are ways to find joy in the journey, both for yourself and for the person you’re caring for. I wish you well on your way.
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