Resources to Support Home Caregivers

With Covid-19-related quarantines and closures, many people may be taking on the role of caregiving. These resources will help with navigating the difficult terrain of juggling many simultaneous responsibilities, and offer wisdom and encouragement.

The National Institute of Health estimates that more than 43 million Americans assume the role of caregiver at any given time. In the age of Covid-19-related quarantines and closures, many people may be taking on that role unexpectedly, either because loved ones have the coronavirus or because professional caregivers can’t come into the home without risking infection. While some thrive in the role of caregiver, others struggle physically, emotionally, and financially, especially when stay at home orders may leave little room for caregivers to receive support. These resources will help with navigating the difficult terrain of juggling many simultaneous responsibilities, and offer wisdom and encouragement. All titles are available digitally.

Fair PlayRodsky, Eve. Fair Play: A Game-Changing Solution for When You Have Too Much to Do (And More Life to Live). Putnam. 2019. ISBN 9780525541936. $26.
Offering conversation starters and household chores to help partners determine how tasks, such as homework and meals, should be assigned and completed, this book is perfect for those who want to create a balance of care in their household. Rodsky’s advice is practical, rooted in her own frustrations, and serves as a conversation starter and guide to creating lasting change.

Making Motherhood WorkCollins, Caitlyn. Making Motherhood Work: How Women Manage Careers and Caregiving. Princeton Univ. 2019. pap. ISBN 9780691202402. $17.95.
Studying working mothers in the United States, Sweden, Germany, and Italy, this book offers a sociological perspective on the ways culture and policy affect caregiving women. Featuring more than 135 interviews with middle-class working women, this book is sure to resonate with those in the same situation who are juggling a home, children, and work.  

Unfinished BusinessSlaughter, Anne-Marie. Unfinished Business: Women Men Work Family. Random. 2016. pap. ISBN 9780812984972. $18.
Slaughter’s 2012 article in The Atlantic, "Why Women Still Can’t Have it All," created the debate that led to this book. After taking a dream job with the U.S. State Department, Slaughter discovered that her family was struggling, and left to take an academic position that afforded a stronger work-life balance. The action plans she outlines serve as powerful tools to strike a better balance between the many pulls that caregivers, particularly working mothers, face.

The Soul of CareKleinman, Arthur. The Soul of Care: The Moral Education of a Husband and a Doctor. Viking. 2019. ISBN 9780525559320. $27
This moving memoir gets at the heart of the complex feelings caregivers often face, ranging from rewarding to tedious and challenging, while accepting that the act of caring for a loved one is an important component of the human experience. As a physician caring for his wife, Kleinman discovered the lack of support readily available for caregivers. This is a must-read.

What We CarryLang, Maya Shanbhag. What We Carry. Dial Pr. 2020. ISBN 9780525512394. $27.
This accessible memoir confronts the difficulties mothers face when providing care to an ill parent, who lives across the country, while simultaneously caring for a young child. Lang offers an emotional portrait of the bond between mothers and daughters, the importance of providing care, and identifying when to seek additional help and support.   

Thomson, Donna. The Unexpected Journey of Caring: The Transformation from Loved One to Caregiver. Rowman & Littlefield. 2019. ISBN 9781538122235. $30.
Thomson skips the clichés, and offers practical advice for caregivers based on her many years of experience. This book offers research-backed strategies for coping with the many challenges of caregiving, and offers readers tools to cope with their new normal.

A Bittersweet SeasonGross, Jane. A Bittersweet Season: Caring for Our Aging Parents—And Ourselves. Vintage. 2012. pap. ISBN 9780307472403. $16.95.
Gross’s memoir of being thrust into caregiving for her mother is relatable story—Based on her experience, this book offers a roadmap for navigating assisted living centers, geriatric care, and more. Gross offers this information as a tool to assist others in better understanding the system that she felt unprepared to traverse on her mother's behalf.

Holding The NetMerriman, Melanie P. Holding the Net: Caring for My Mother on the Tightrope of Aging. Green Writers Press. 2017. pap. ISBN 9780998701226. $19.95.
This award-winning memoir asserts that anyone can be an expert on caring for an aging parent. Merriman’s background as a hospice consultant informs her chapters about how aging affects the mind and body of individuals, how caregivers can make health care decisions for their loved ones, and how to provide safe and healthy living arrangements for those in our care.  

Abraham, Ken. When Your Parent Becomes Your Child: A Journey of Faith Through My Mother's Dementia. Thomas Nelson. 2012. pap. ISBN 9780849947278. $15.99.
Pastor and author Abraham outlines his family's experiences facing the challenges of dementia after his mother's diagnosis. Leaning into his faith, Abraham offers reminders of the Biblical principles of care, while providing practical information for caregivers.

Roz ChastChast, Roz. Can We Talk About Something More Pleasant? Bloomsbury USA. 2014. 9781608198061. $28.
For caregivers in need of a laugh, Chast's 2014 National Book Award finalist memoir is a great choice. The New Yorker cartoonist brings her signature wit and style to each page, and is sure to bring a smile to others who are dealing with the universal struggle of caring for elderly parents, and coping with the loss of parents.

Before I ForgetSmith, B., Dan Gasby, & Michael Shnayerson. Before I Forget: Love, Hope, Help and Acceptance in Our Fight Against Alzheimer's. Harmony. 2016. pap. ISBN 9780553447156. $16.
Successful chef and restaurateur B. Smith and her husband, Dan, provide an unflinchingly honest portrayal of the effects of Alzheimer's on the individual and the family after her diagnosis with the disease. This is a must-read for individuals and caregivers straddling the fine line between hope and acceptance following a diagnosis.

Be WithBarnes, Mike. Be With: Letters to a Caregiver. Biblioasis. 2018. pap. 9781771962438. $13.95.
After providing seven years of care for his mother, Barnes wrote and published a series of letters for caregivers to help them get through the day. Intended to be read in small bites, this book offers encouragement and insights from the author's own experience, with the intention of providing inspiration and solace for today's caregivers.

Caregivers Survival GuideYonover, Robert & Ellie Crowe. Caregiver’s Survival Guide: Caring for Yourself While Caring for a Loved One. Skyhorse. 2018. pap. ISBN 9781510731776. $14.99.
This easy-to-ready guide offers a wealth of practical advice on a variety of topics delivered by Yonover, who served as the primary caregiver for his wife and children for more than 20 years. Caregivers can expect to walk away with a better understanding of their rights; how to manage financially, emotionally, and physically; and how to maintain a social life.

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