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Self-Help Materials

Popular Reading Lists for Family Caregivers

Explore these carefully selected essential reads from other fellow caregivers who found them useful in their caregiving journey. Each book offers inspiration, practical tips, or guidance. Remember, as a family caregiver, you are not alone.

Somebody I Used To Know, A Memoir – Wendy Mitchell

In her groundbreaking book, Mitchell shares the heart-rending story of her cognitive decline and her fight to stave it off. The path ahead after the young age Alzheimer’s diagnosis was scary and unknown, but Mitchell was determined and resourceful, vowing to outwit the disease for as long as she could. As Mitchell learned to embrace her new life, she began to see her condition as a gift – a chance to experience the world with fresh eyes and find her way to make a difference.


The Complete Eldercare Planner, Revised and Updated 4th Edition: Where to Start, Which Questions to Ask, and How to Find Help — Joy Loverde

This updated, complete Eldercare Planner workbook offers practical tools, such as worksheets, checklists, and action plans, to help manage the financial aspects of caregiving, even from a distance.

The Relaxation and Stress Reduction Workbook, by Martha Davis, Elizabeth Robbins Eshelman, and Matthew McKay

This workbook presents a variety of stress reduction techniques designed for busy caregivers. These techniques help with relaxation and improved stress management. Each chapter introduces a different method, outlines its effectiveness, and includes practical exercises for immediate application during stressful moments.

Be the Noodle: 50 Ways To Be a Compassionate, Courageous, crazy-good Caregiver

This touching and humorous book tells the story of a daughter caring for her terminally ill mother, who wanted to spend her final days at home. It offers practical advice and heartwarming anecdotes, supporting and comforting those going through similar situations. Dr. Roger Woodruff of the International Association of Hospice and Palliative Care praises it as a fantastic resource that blends genuine emotion with practical wisdom.

Living with Dying: A Complete Guide for Caregivers — Jahnna Beecham and Katie Ortlip

The caregiver guidebook offers essential guidance for navigating the complexities of life and death when faced with illness and aging. It provides practical tips on organizing affairs and managing pain, while also addressing the spiritual and emotional aspects of death. Former editor-in-chief of National Geographic, Barbara Brownell Grogan, describes it as the quintessential resource: respectful, experiential, thoroughly researched, and uplifting.

When Caregiving Calls: Guidance as You Care for a Parent, Spouse, or Aging Relative, by Aaron Blight

Caring for a loved one who is unable to care for themselves due to age, illness, or infirmity is both noble and challenging. Aaron Blight, drawing from his own caregiving journey, offers insightful reflections in eighteen concise chapters. Through vivid stories, he portrays the daily realities of caregiving, encompassing its mix of stress, reward, and complexity. Blight’s candid advice equips family caregivers to navigate the physical, emotional, and spiritual dimensions of their role more effectively.

Can’t We Talk about Something More Pleasant? By Roz Chast

Goodreads Choice and multiple books awards: Roz Chast’s debut memoir humorously explores the challenges of caring for aging parents through witty cartoons, family photos, and narrative. Initially relying on denial and avoidance, Roz’s coping mechanisms falter when her mother’s accident forces her to confront the reality of their decline. Despite their eccentricities, the themes of parental role reversal, transitioning to care facilities, and navigating intimate care resonate universally. “Can’t We Talk about Something More Pleasant” is a poignant portrayal of familial love and loss, showcasing Chast’s talent as a cartoonist and storyteller.

The Unexpected Caregiver by Kari Berit

In “The Unexpected Caregiver,” Kari Berit shares her journey caring for her husband through cancer. With insights from her nursing background, she offers practical tips on medication management and emotional coping. Berit candidly discusses her challenges, from initial anger to moments of hope and humor. This book is a touching account of grief and resilience, showcasing the power of the human spirit.  

The Art and Science of Caregiving: Stories of Inspiring Elders with an End-of-Life Guidebook by Annelise Schinzinger

“The Art and Science of Caregiving” by Annelise Schinzinger offers both inspiration and practical advice for elder care. Divided into two parts, it shares uplifting stories of resilient elders in the first section, emphasizing the significance of positivity and engagement in later life. The second part serves as a comprehensive guide for caregivers, providing practical tips on managing medications, coping with difficult behaviors, and addressing caregiver stress. Schinzinger’s book is a valuable resource for caregivers and anyone interested in elder care, blending insight, inspiration, and actionable strategies.

Grace for the Unexpected Journey: A 60-Day Devotional for Alzheimer’s and Other Dementia Caregivers — Deborah Barr

Caregivers often face a challenging journey, but this devotional provides the grace needed to navigate it. Amidst stress, it leads us toward peace, and in moments of darkness, it shines with hope.  Each daily devotion is concise, perfect for busy schedules, reflects on a relevant Scripture passage, features a relatable caregiving story, and offers a key Scripture for meditation.

When Reasoning No Longer Works: A Practical Guide for Caregivers Dealing with Dementia and Alzheimer’s Care

This training manual is exactly what family caregivers have been looking for. It is written by a Gerontologist with over twenty years of experience and provides an easy-to-understand overview of dementia’s impact on the brain, its diagnosis, and most importantly, how to manage its effects.

The manual includes bulleted lists that clearly explain how to avoid a catastrophic reaction, specific approaches for dealing with aggressive behavior, strategies for managing disruptive behaviors, ways to reduce wandering, what to do when a wanderer is missing, and when to seek outside help.

My Two Elaines: Learning, Coping, and Surviving as an Alzheimer’s Caregiver — Martin J. Schreiber

In his book, Martin J. Schreiber, former Governor of Wisconsin, recounts his experience as the primary caregiver for his wife, Elaine, who battled Alzheimer’s. Alongside his narrative, he offers valuable advice on balancing caregiving responsibilities with self-care.


36-Hour Day – Nancy L. Mace and Peter V. Rabbins

A bestselling guide, “The 36-Hour Day” book offers up-to-date resources and insights for caregivers dealing with Alzheimer’s and dementia. It provides coping strategies, support resources, and perspectives on challenges, aiming to assist caregivers in caring for their loved ones during this difficult time.

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