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The emotional survival guide for caregivers : looking after yourself and your family while helping an aging parent
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Author Notes
Barry J. Jacobs, PsyD, works with couples and families coping with serious health problems. He has faculty appointments at Temple University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Widener University, and is the Director of Behavioral Sciences for the Crozer-Keystone Family Medicine Residency Program in Springfield, Pennsylvania. He is also a widely published journalist who has written extensively for The Village Voice and other publications. Currently, he writes an advice column for Take Care!, the quarterly newsletter of the National Family Caregivers Association and edits the In Sickness & Health column for the journal Families, Systems & Health. He lives with his wife and their two children in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania.<br>
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  Library Journal Review

Jacobs, who works with couples and families coping with serious health problems, shows readers how to help a seriously ill loved one while taking care to limit the debilitating effects of caregiving on the family. After sharing a poignant, personal account about his own father, Jacobs organizes his wise material around the story of a family that represents a composite of families he has helped in the past: two sisters and their cancer-ridden mother. An introductory chapter offers research findings and clinical anecdotes, and subsequent chapters follow the exemplary family through time as they cope with such things as medical treatments, misunderstandings with the treating professionals, and the vicissitudes of the disease. A collection of questions and answers explores different facets of the caregiving task and offers specific tips and strategies for success. The resources section lists a variety of organizations, publications, and web sites. With the book's focus on various life-threatening diseases, including Alzheimer's, this title nicely supplements Nancy L. Mace and Peter V. Rabins's The 36-Hour Day. Highly recommended for university libraries supporting the helping professions and for larger public libraries.-Dale Farris, Groves, TX (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

  Publishers Weekly Review

For anyone with the responsibility of caring for a sick or disabled parent, this clear-eyed guide will be of real assistance. Jacobs, director of behavioral sciences for the Crozer-Keystone Family Medicine Residency Program in Pennsylvania, knows firsthand the emotional and financial devastation such illness can cause: his father died of cancer when Jacobs was 13. He illustrates the problems caregivers face through the story of two women (composites of caregivers he has known), middle-aged, married sisters struggling with the cancer of their widowed mother from diagnosis to death. As Jacobs points out, the sisters, their mother and her doctors are not perfect models of resilience and wisdom: rather, they're average people whom readers will be able to identify with and learn from. Through this story, Jacobs explores how to define your commitment to caregiving and recruit relatives as well as professionals to help, along with strategies for preserving your own personal life during an extended illness. Jacobs recommends that family members meet regularly, even online, to negotiate caregiving responsibilities. Jacobs's frankness about the emotional as well as medical traps that await families dealing with serious illness, and his concrete advice on how to handle them, offers in-depth support to caregivers. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Caring for a parent whose health is in decline turns the world upside down. The emotional fallout can be devastating, but it doesn't have to be that way. Empathic guidance from an expert who's been there can help. Through an account of two sisters and their ailing mother--interwoven with no-nonsense advice--The Emotional Survival Guide for Caregivers helps family members navigate tough decisions and make the most of their time together as they care for an aging parent. The author urges readers to be honest about the level of commitment they're able to make and emphasizes the need for clear communication within the family. While acknowledging their guilt, stress, and fatigue, he helps caregivers reaffirm emotional connections worn thin by the routine of daily care. This compassionate book will help families everywhere avoid burnout and preserve bonds during one of life's most difficult passages.<br>
Table of Contents
Acknowledgmentsp. viii
Prologuep. 1
1First Daysp. 9
2Defining Commitmentsp. 29
3Utilizing Supportp. 55
4Handling Sacrificep. 79
5Weighing Hope and Acceptance, Fantasy and Realityp. 105
6Fostering Awareness and Flexibilityp. 127
7Protecting Intimacyp. 152
8Sustaining the Spiritp. 176
9Last Daysp. 199
Epilogue: Caregiving's Aftermathp. 233
Resourcesp. 243
Indexp. 257
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