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Caring for Aging Parents and Yourself

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Caregiver image, Image by Rosie O'Beirne/Creative Commons via Flickr

When you are small, your parents normally take care of you. Time passes, life happens and the years fly by. Slowly, you may begin to realize that your parents can no longer cope with life on their own. One day, you may end up taking care of them. This role-reversal can be overwhelming and very challenging for many of us.

If you need information, emotional and practical support on various aspects of caring for aging parents and caregiving in general, these books, e-books, DVDs and websites may help.

Books

 Caring For Our Aging Parents and Ourselves

A Bittersweet Season: Caring for Our Aging Parents—And Ourselves by Jane Gross

This is the author's account of adjusting to her new role of caring for her eight-five-year old mother. In it, she learns to navigate the in and outs of dealing with Medicaid and Medicare, assisted living facilities as well as her own family dynamics. She struggles to do this while coping with her overwhelming feelings of physical and mental exhaustion. Gross also provides practical tips to make the multitude of tasks that go with caring with an aging a parent go a lot more smoothly.

 

Can't We Can't About Something More Pleasant?

Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant? by Roz Chast

Roz Chast,who is a cartoonist, storyteller and an only child, wrote this comic memoir about her role as a caregiver to her aging parents. She describes her parents' relationship with one another, which was always a tad dysfunctional but which becomes seemingly worse. Her dad is coping with dementia and finds himself having to depend more and more on his overbearing wife. Chast describes their rough move from their family home to an institution and all that goes along with it.

The Caregiver's Handbook

The Caregivers Handbook, edited by Joanna Edwards and Martyn Page

This book provides information about various aspects of caregiving for an elderly person at home. Chapters include first aid, personal care, first aid, nursing care and end-of-life care. Tips on how to find professional help are also included.

 

 

 making choices for those who can't, caregivers, elderly, aged parents

The Caregiver's Path to Compassionate Decision Making : Making Choices for Those Who Can't by Viki Kind

This book is written by Viki Kind, an author who wrote an NYPL blog post titled "Care-grieving." Kind's book is geared toward the caregiver or health professional who is struggling to make respectful and compassionate decisions for their loved ones when they can no longer take care of themselves. You will find advice on topics such as how to determine whether the loved one or the patient still has the capacity to make their own decisions. You will also learn important questions to ask healthcare facilities and medical professionals in regard to the best way to care for your loved one. Sensitive and painful end-of-life issues are addressed by the author in an empathic and compassionate way.

 taking care of mom and dad-- and you

The Daughter Trap : Taking Care of Mom and Dad—and You by Laurel Kennedy

This book addresses particular issues that daughters face when caring for their aging parents. Common issues that grown daughters who are a part of the “sandwich generation” are addressed. These issues include the emotional and practical challenges involved with caring for their aging parents while running a household, working full time and raising children or helping out their adult children. Kennedy also provides advice and solutions to various dilemmas faced by adult children and their parents.

 guide to legal, financial, and health care issues

You and Your Aging Parents : Guide to Legal, Financial, and Health Care Issues by The American Bar Association

This book, published by the American Bar Association, is a comprehensive resource guide to various legal matters surrounding the care of aging parents. The topics that are covered include power of attorney, income, healthcare and housing. Emotional aspects of caring for aging parents are also covered.

 

E-books

 A Guide for Stressed-Out ChildrenCoping with Your Difficult Older Parent: A Guide for Stressed-Out Children by Grace Lebow & Barbara Kane, with Irwin Lebow

Do you have difficulty in getting along with your aging parent or parents? Do you find that you are treated with hostility or are bombarded with never ending or unreasonable demands? This book is filled with tips from professionals on how to handle challenging conversations with your parents. Sample conversations on various topics are included.

You'd Better Not Die or I'll Kill YouYou'd Better Not Die or I'll Kill You: A Caregiver's Survival Guide to Keeping You in Good Health and Good Spirits by Jane Heller

Jane Heller, a best-selling novelist, wrote a funny and informative guide to caregiving. Even though she wrote about caring for her chronically ill husband, a person caring for their aging parents can get tips on how to communicate effectively and negotiate with medical staff. Tips from other caregivers and professionals in this field are also included.

DVDs

Caring for Mom & Dad, a Larkin McPhee Production for WGBH Boston ; written and directed by Larkin McPhee ; producer, Larkin McPhee A PBS video on the adult children caring for aging parents

Caring for Mom & Dad, a Larkin McPhee Production for WGBH Boston; written and directed by Larkin McPhee; producer, Larkin McPhee

A PBS video on the adult children caring for aging parents. It illustrates the phenomenon of the current demographic shift taking place regarding the large number of retiring baby boomers that are going to require care and facing the challenge of who will care for them.

 

 A Guide to Positive Growth When Caring for Aging Parents, produced by Paraclete Video Productions ; producer, Charity Spatzeck-Olsen ; director, Hans Spatzeck-Olsen

When Your Parent Needs You: A Guide to Positive Growth When Caring for Aging Parents, produced by Paraclete Video Productions; producer, Charity Spatzeck-Olsen; director, Hans Spatzeck-Olsen.

This video illustrates both the challenges that come along with caring for aging parents through interviews with caregivers and experts on aging. It also highlights the spiritual and emotional lessons the adult children can learn while doing it.

 

Online Resources

Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders, New York City, Inc: Support group
This is the support group page of Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders, New York City, Inc. It also provides information on all types of caregiver's support groups throughout the five boroughs.

Caregiving.com
This website is an online support community for caregivers. There are online chats, articles, blog posts, podcasts for caregivers on this site. There are also free videos and webinars.

Dorot Telephone: "Telephone Support Groups"
DOROT, an organization which aims to relieve social isolation among the elderly, has telephone support groups for caregivers. To participate, you may register by calling DOROT at 212-769–2850 or toll–free at 877-819–9147.

Net of Care: Information and Resources for Caregivers
This website, created by the Beth Israel University Hospital, provides information and help for caregivers in NYC. There are downloadable pdf guides such as “Navigating “The System” and “Where to Find Help”.

NYC Caregiver Resource Center
Are you caring for an older 60+ adult and can you use a little help and information?
This website strives to provide the latest information on caregiving and to connect individuals with caregiving resources in New York City. The “Caring for Self” page on this website that addresses the needs of the caregivers themselves.

New York City Department for the Aging - Caregiver Support Resources
This page provides links and resources on a variety of topics related to caregiving. It also provides links to organizations in New York City and nationwide which provide assistance.

PBS Caregiving for Your Parents
This PBS produced webpage provides a wealth of information on self-care for the caregiver including links to support groups and information on respite care. This page is a part of the "Caregiver's Handbook" on this site. This provides information on various aspects of caregivers, from handling financial issues, legal issues and homecare.

Comments

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Lyme disease

I co-ordinate education and outreach for the national advocacy organization LymeDisease.org. I'd like to discuss the possibility of your writing a blog about books and resources for people with Lyme disease. FYI, May is "Lyme Disease Awareness Month." Thank you for your consideration.

Lyme Disease

I would like to discuss that with you in more detail. You may get in touch with me by calling the library branch.

Lyme Disease Awareness

Here is a new post on Lyme Disease Awareness: http://www.nypl.org/blog/2016/06/01/lyme-disease-resources

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