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12 Top Books for Caregiver Advice and Support

These caregiver support books go beyond practical advice and include tips for reducing stress and caring for yourself

Support reduces stress to sustain caregiving over the long term

Stress goes hand in hand with caregiving and wears down your health and well-being.

It can be caused by a wide range of things: the enormous responsibility, endless tasks, feeling overwhelmed, managing mixed feelings, feeling guilty, and feeling alone.

To sustain caregiving over the long term, learn tried-and-true caregiving tips from those who have “been there and done that” and find out how to implement strategies for managing responsibilities and reducing stress.

We rounded up a dozen top books for caregivers that cover helpful caregiving advice, practical tips, and strategies for managing stress, getting help, and finding ways to care for yourself.

12 best books for caregivers with helpful tips and supportive advice


1) The Sudden Caregiver: A Roadmap for Resilient Caregiving, by Karen Warner Schueler Written by a family caregiver for family caregivers, this book will help you to:

  1. Take control of the practical tasks and available resources your circumstances require.

  2. Minimize unpleasant surprises and maximize well-being for you and the person in your care.

  3. Leverage “resilience builders” to protect yourself against stress and replenish your spirit.

What caregivers are saying: “This is a wonderful book – both an immensely helpful guide for those put in the position of caregiver, and a touching real-life story arc that will resonate with all readers. Karen provides useful information, with which one can create a solid foundation of caregiving, while recognizing at the same time, the caregiver suffers as well; this book is also a support system that can help you navigate the torrential waters of caregiving – the emotional toll this important role takes on the caregiver him/herself.”

“What a deeply important book. The stories are complex, rich, and bright with colors and feelings. The frameworks are super actionable – you actually know what steps to take and what things to do once you read it…Specifically, I really liked the author’s honesty about “The Caregiver Paradox” – it turns out caregiving is BOTH more exhausting than so many other things and also so much more meaningful and deeper in your connections with people. This book is about living out loud.”


2) Multicultural Guide to Caregiving: Essential resources to help you balance traditions without losing your mind or money, by Angelica Herrera Venson Do you grapple with the challenge of navigating culturally embedded expectations around elder care and your own life’s demands?

Author and gerontologist, Angelica Herrera Venson, DrPH, opens up and shares her family’s personal stories and lessons from her field work and research on aging and caregiving with communities of color and first generation Americans.

This book includes a wealth of resources that caregivers can tap into to manage elder care with confidence and no regrets. 

It provides help for minorities and immigrant families to be considered and qualify for programs. 

Above all, it will help caregivers gain confidence knowing they have support and are not alone in their struggles.


3) When Caregiving Calls: Guidance as You Care for a Parent, Spouse, or Aging Relative, by Aaron Blight Caring for a parent, spouse, or relative who cannot care for themselves due to age, infirmity, or illness is one of the noblest human activities. 

It’s also one of the most stressful, posing challenges that can be painful, confusing, frustrating, and deeply rewarding – sometimes all at once.

Aaron Blight has lived the caregiving experience many ways. Now he shares his insights in eighteen brief, thoughtful chapters that examine the many facets of caregiving. 

He shares stories that vividly capture the unique daily realities of the caregiving life. And he offers candid, practical advice that can help family caregivers do a better job of coping with the physical, psychological, social, and spiritual challenges they face.

What caregivers are saying: “Wow! First book I have ever read on caregiving that is so complete, informative, comforting and rewarding. This book is a masterpiece in understanding the struggles caregiving brings and in providing the wisdom to deal with those struggles…”

“Many of the things Aaron points out we really already know and yet haven’t thought of in that way. He helps us to understand and also believe that we have a choice in how we caretake. There shouldn’t be guilt if and when we ask for help…I love how he breaks this information into small easy to digest pieces. He uses graphs and questionnaires to really help a person analyze how they are feeling.”


4) The Conscious Caregiver: A Mindful Approach to Caring for Your Loved One Without Losing Yourself, by Linda Abbit How can you fulfill your role as a caregiver without losing yourself? It’s a rewarding experience, but the emotional and physical stress of caregiving can lead to burnout and exhaustion.

With information on how to talk to your older adult about the situation, handle the emotional stress, stay financially secure, and take the time to care for yourself, this guide helps you care for your older adult and yourself at the same time.

What caregivers are saying: “…The Conscious Caregiver obviously understands the challenges and accompanying worry, guilt, and love involved in caregiving. First, I felt understood (and maybe not so abnormal!) while reading about the conflicting feelings of caring for a loved one. Then I learned how to handle varied situations, handled with respect for both the caregiver and the person being cared for.”

“A caregiver is so busy and focused taking care of an elder that he or she often suffers physically, emotionally, financially and spiritually at a time when it is most critical not to. The caregiver needs to learn how to stay sane and healthy and this book provides much needed and helpful info on how to do just that.”


5) The Relaxation and Stress Reduction Workbook, by Martha Davis, Elizabeth Robbins Eshelman, and Matthew McKay This workbook has a variety of stress reduction strategies that help busy caregivers relax and better manage stress and well-being.

Each chapter features a different method, explains why it works, and has exercises you can do to use that method when you feel stressed.

What caregivers are saying: “Lots of great insight, activities and information about stress and anxiety. The chapters are organized in an easy to follow way and you can use the book in any order you like. Each chapter is self contained so you don’t have to stick to one particular order. I find myself referring to this book every now and then and it really has helped me cope with stress.”

“Plenty of stress reduction techniques…Try all the techniques until you find the ones that work for you.”


6) Toolkit for Caregivers: Tips, Skills, and Wisdom to Maximize Your Time Together, by Deidre Edwards, RN Deidre Edwards, RN shares the inside story of how to give care, AND how to survive the emotional ups and downs, in this unique double-offering of practical insights and proven skills.

What caregivers are saying: “Deidre’s brilliant caregiving book not only highlights the tips/tricks/tasks to ease caring for your beloved husband, or grandparent or daughter…but the self care necessary to facilitate the caregiver’s soul to recharge and not just endure the difficult days, but to thrive in giving your absolute best to your loved one.”

“This is an extremely helpful resource filled with advice and good practices that come from D. Edwards’ own experiences. As she says, nobody should have to re-invent the wheel whenever they go through such a situation. This book covers all areas of Caregiving…how to quickly rig such a simple solution to protect against rash/skin burn etc…Infection control, best practices for washing and shaving, changing bedding…and the importance of keeping your loved one/ patient entertained and stimulated. There is also a Business Side checklist, to deal with everything that comes later – invaluable.”


7) Cruising through Caregiving: Reducing the Stress of Caring for Your Loved One, by Jennifer L. FitzPatrick Jennifer FitzPatrick expertly shows how to be a responsible, loving caregiver without being overcome by guilt, exhaustion, or worry.

Advice and resources from FitzPatrick and 24 other professionals show how to give your older adult the best quality of life possible without sacrificing your own life, health, career, relationships, or financial stability.

What caregivers are saying: “I just love this book! It’s written for those of us who are in it for the long haul. We’re not sure how to care for our elder, and still have a life of our own…She gently but firmly discourages perfectionism and guilt, while continuously pointing out helpful resources.”

“What makes this book invaluable is Jen’s expertise on caregiver stress. It’s one thing to get a handle on the obvious – Will the money run out? Who helps me? Is aging-in-place a good idea? – and another to be open-minded about the emotional challenges we face in the eldercare process. There are many ways to be a good caregiver; but perhaps the greatest skill of all is the willingness to change course and correct mistakes. This book shows you how to do this, and much more.”


8) AARP Meditations for Caregivers: Practical, Emotional, and Spiritual Support for You and Your Family, by Barry J. Jacobs and Julia L. Mayer Caring for an older adult has plenty of challenges. This book blends emotional and spiritual motivation to minimize the strain.

Chapters are organized by theme, including topics like accepting your feelings, knowing your limits, seeking support, and managing stress. Get solutions to caregiving challenges, relief and renewal through mindfulness, and inspiration to find meaning and value in the work you do.

What caregivers are saying: “The book includes a range of topics from anger to flexibility and humor to rewards of caregiving. Each chapter portrays personal snippets of real, human experiences with caregiving as well as pearls of wisdom from the authors.”

“This book offers meaningful ways to de-stress as you provide loving care to others. It beautifully demonstrates the importance of self-care, and wonderful meditations to guide you to inner peace and serenity. Caregiving is by nature stressful. This book provides a means to unwind and reconnect to your center…”


9) Daily Comforts for Caregivers, by Pat Samples This book helps caregivers cope with isolation, guilt, exhaustion, and frustration with 366 days worth of wisdom and affirmations. An index of topics allows you to find the ones you want to read at the moment.

Each reading ends with an inspiring, practical affirmation designed to help caregivers better care for themselves.

What caregivers are saying: “Every emotion, thought process, good, bad, ugly grateful, ungrateful, every feeling has been succinctly and non-judgmentally described so you can understand you are not alone. And the best part is each story has a take home message giving the caregiver a tool, to use and refer back to, in order to put the toughest job a simple human being could possibly take on, into perspective.”

“I am on the caregiver journey with my husband. I read this every morning. It validates some of the feelings I have and struggle with often. It helps me deal with the anxiety, frustration, and anger I sometimes feel. It also helps me to see the issues from my husband’s perspective. This is a must read daily for any caregiver. It gives you strength to carry on some days.”


10) A Bittersweet Season: Caring for Our Aging Parents – and Ourselves, by Jane Gross Jane Gross, a New York Times expert on the topic of aging care, learned valuable and important lessons while caring for her 85 year old mother.

She shares her story along with the helpful information that she wishes she had known earlier.

Find out:

  1. Why finding a general practitioner with a specialty in geriatrics should be your first move when relocating a parent

  2. How to deal with Medicaid and Medicare

  3. How to understand and provide for your own needs

  4. And much more

What caregivers are saying: “I highly recommend this book if you have aging parents…My mom is in her early 90s and has dementia. My sisters and I continuously grapple with what is best for her. I identified with many of the issues of dealing with aging parents and the sibling rivalry that seeps through. Sharing responsibilities, personality differences, lack of cooperation…. It’s very trying. The book gave me insight and useful information.”

“’Tis true. It is bittersweet taking care of parents. This book helped me understand the why’s of what my parents did or did not want done. It helped me relax a bit and go with the flow a bit more.”

“This book is extraordinarily well-written, and it gives readers tips on how to take care of themselves while caring for their elderly (and ailing) parents. It is written with great sensitivity and love.”


11) Chicken Soup for the Soul: Family Caregivers: 101 Stories of Love, Sacrifice, and Bonding, by Joan Lunden and Amy Newmark This collection of 101 stories offers support and encouragement for caregivers of all ages, including the “sandwich” generation caring for a family member while raising their children.

These tales of love, sacrifice, and lessons learned are inspiring and uplifting. Plus, hearing from other people in similar situations reminds us that we’re not alone in this.

What caregivers are saying: “…reading a couple of stories a day seems to remind me that I am not alone in my feelings and gives me the strength to continue to take life one day at a time.”

“This book helped our family take a different perspective in dealing with our aging family members. Dementia is very emotionally draining for the caregiver but this book brings a sense of peace and understanding with good tips and advice. Who would thought there would be a chapter on humor, but it made me laugh out loud. I will share this book many times over!”

“I was my mother’s caregiver while she was in hospice with congestive heart failure. I needed a book to read by caregivers for inspiration AND to validate feelings I was having. I got this and more!!! I was able to learn to appreciate and find joy in the times I had with my mom. Some stories had me crying and some had me smiling.”


12) The Caregiver’s Survival Handbook: How to Care for Your Aging Parent Without Losing Yourself, by Alexis Abramson So many of us are caught between our family’s needs and our aging parents’ needs.

This book’s mission is to help caregivers figure out how to care for aging loved ones, provide for other family members, and attend to their own career – without losing themselves in the process.

This practical guide covers top concerns, including:

  1. Getting all family members to pitch in

  2. Letting go of feelings of guilt

  3. Avoiding conflict with an aging loved one

  4. Fostering independence in the elderly

  5. Balancing the demands on one’s own time and resources

What caregivers are saying: “This book is superb. Having an ailing parent, I turned to this book for the helpful tips discussed on the jacket cover. But it was so much more than that….it made me feel understood. The plain-speak and thoughtfulness in the text made the goal of caregiving seem much more attainable….and less overwhelming. The stories and examples of others in a caregiving capacity helped me to feel not alone…”

“The author really captures the essential desires of caregivers and supplies innovative solutions to many problems that they will face.”

Recommended for you:

By DailyCaring Editorial Team

This article wasn’t sponsored, but does contain some affiliate links. We never link to products or services for the sole purpose of making a commission. Recommendations are based on our honest opinions. For more information, see How We Make Money.

 

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