The Caregiver Helpbook: Powerful Tools for Caregivers, Second Edition, Legacy Caregiver Services, Legacy Health System, OR. (503)413-8018. firstname.lastname@example.org. ($25.00). Helpful and well organized, this workbook was conceived to increase the confidence and self-care of caregivers. Each chapter begins with an overview and ends with a summary. The first part of the book focuses on self care and includes goal setting and problem-solving; managing and avoiding caregiver stress; communication skills; changing roles and transitions; making tough decisions; and holding family meetings. The second part deals with specific issues such as grandparents as caregivers, hiring in-home help, and elder abuse. Tools and coping mechanisms are simply and clearly presented. For instance, a chapter entitled “Communicating Effectively with Others” includes a subsection on the “assertive” style of communicating and another on the “Aikido” style, with lots of examples. A chapter on making tough decisions includes a model which would be helpful for group decision-making where strong emotions make choices difficult.
Stroke, Louis R. Caplan, M.D. (2006) AAN Press, American Academy of Neurology, MN, and Demos Medical Publishing, LLC, NY, www.demosmedpub.com, $19.95. Despite its being a common and devastating medical condition, many people remain unaware of the causes, symptoms and treatment of stroke. This in-depth primer explains these carefully and in detail. Visual illustrations and case histories are used to illustrate the complexity and different ways in which stroke effects individuals. Much of the book is about the physiology of stroke. Other chapters cover disabilities caused by stroke, rehabilitation, improvements in treatment, current research, insurance, and tips for stroke patients and caregivers. A glossary is also included. This is the most recent in a series of “Quality of Life” guides produced by the AAN press. Other titles include Alzheimer’s Disease, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, and Migraine and Other Headaches.
Parkinson’s Disease: 300 Tips for Making Life Easier, Second Edition, Shelley Peterman Schwarz (2006) Demos Medical Publishing, LLC, NY, www.demosmedpub.com, $16.95. Looking for talking newspapers? All-terrain wheelchair? Tips on helping someone walk or setting up a bedroom? Learned from the real-life experience of patients, this well organized book combines assistive technologies with a wealth of other tips. Major topics include home safety and accessibility, dressing and grooming, communicating, meals, mobility, and managing health care. Each topic is further broken down, making it very easy to spot tips and resources from the table of contents. Many resources in this book could also benefit nonParkinson’s patients.
Who Cares: A Loving Guide for My Future Caregivers, Updated Edition. Dee Marrella, (2005) DC Press, www.focusonethics.com, $16.95. To be used as a guide for your own future caregiver(s), Ms. Marella has laid out a concise and thoughtful combination handbook and personal record. There are sections to record personal history, preferences, advice, last wishes, and medical and financial information. A “Red Alert” section for recording critical information, and a glossary of terms to keep handy are useful additions. Also included are examples and suggestions for the writer and tips for caregivers—many of which reflect the author of the guide’s personal feelings and beliefs.
E-mail to a Friend