According to a 2015 report from AARP, approximately 43.5 million individuals have provided unpaid care to an adult or child on a consistent basis.
When you start the journey of caring for a parent, it can be overwhelming and a little scary. One of the best resources you can tap into, besides local support groups and organizations like AARP, are books.
Fortunately, there are several great books to help you take care of your parents and take care of yourself.
Here are my top 10 must-have books for your caregiving library.
Table of Contents
- 1. Creating Moments of Joy Along the Alzheimer’s Journey by Jolene Brackey
- 2. The Conscious Caregiver: A Mindful Approach to Caring for Your Loved One Without Losing Yourself by Linda Abbitt
- 3. The Caregiving Season: Finding Grace to Honor Your Aging Parents by Jane Daly
- 4. Dementia Beyond Drugs by G. Allen Power, M.D.
- 5. Dementia Reimagined by Tia Powell, M.D.
- 6. Caring for the Caregiver by Cheri Salwell
- 7. The Little Book of Mindfulness by Patrizia Collard
- 8. The Healing Power of Breath by Richard P. Brown & Patricia Gerbarg
- 9. Seven Keys to a Peaceful Passing by Derek Flores
- 10. The Family Caregiver’s Manual: A Practical Planning Guide to Managing the Care of Your Loved One by David Levy
This guide for families and caregivers focuses on finding moments of joy throughout the day, emphasizing the fact that our loved ones may not remember what we said or did, but the feelings these special moments leave them with will linger on.
This book is filled with practical guidance and stores of hope and encouragement.
Caregivers face burnout and exhaustion if they’re not mindful about taking care of themselves as they care for their loved ones.
This book gives practical advice on the caregiving side, as well as what you need to do for yourself and how you can fit it into your daily life.
Related: Best Books on Caregiving
Recognizing the challenges of caring for elderly parents, Daly shares personal stories of caregivers, as well as practical tips on how to manage day-to-day life and still honor the dignity of the patient.
Filled with ways to take moments to fill your own spiritual well, this book is a great balance of advice, encouragement, and hope.
It is both real and relatable with just the right touch of humor sprinkled throughout.
Dr. Power has been a trailblazer in the quest to learn more about managing dementia without medication.
He shares newer drug studies and looks at the concerns over antipsychotic medication usage for dementia symptom management, as well as sharing new treatment protocols that are being piloted for this population.
This book is great for caregivers and practitioners alike, as it provides a clear plan to work towards the drug-reduction goals that the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has outlined.
Tia Powell is a renowned psychiatrist and bioethicist who has lived through being a dementia caregiver with both her grandmother and mother.
Through her own personal experiences with the disease and knowledge of medicine, this book emphasizes the importance of caretaking vs. finding a cure.
Her own viewpoints as both a caregiver and a doctor give her a unique perspective to help us handle the role take on.
Written from one caregiver to another, Salwell offers words of encouragement and practical tips regardless of who you are providing care for.
She has a distinctly Christian emphasis in her writing and includes prayers and Scripture throughout the book.
Self-care is emphasized along with advice on how to take the time to do what’s necessary to care for yourself during the most challenging times.
Subtitled “10 Minutes a Day to Less Stress, More Peace,” Collard’s book is chock full of tips on squeezing a mindfulness practice into your day, regardless of how busy you may be.
Stopping to focus on the present moment has been a proven stress-reducing technique, and while many people don’t know where to start a meditation practice, this book will guide you through the process.
Using her experience as a psychotherapist, mindfulness teacher, and stress management consultant, she shares short and simple meditations that you can do anytime. If you’ve never done meditation before, this is a great place to start.
Written by two physicians, this book provides simple, drug-free ways to manage the symptoms of stress, including anxiety, depression, and insomnia.
The authors teach breathing techniques derived from yoga, as well as Buddhist, Chinese and Orthodox Christian practices.
A CD is included with the book purchase that contains an audio guide to walk listeners through the techniques and provide ways to incorporate them into your daily life.
Authored by an experienced hospice nurse, this book provides a step-by-step guide to using hospice to help your loved one through their final transition, while also helping your family move easily through the process.
Flores also shares stories from his experiences with patients and stories of hope.
Managing the care of a loved one can have a lot of legal complexities.
This guide by David Levy helps walk you through each step of the process and lets you know what essential forms you need to have on hand to manage your loved one’s care and to oversee financial issues on their behalf.