November is National Family Caregivers Month. What better way to mark the occasion than to tell you about a gem of a book titled To Survive Caregiving: A Daughter's Experience, A Doctor's Advice on Finding Hope, Help and Health? I saw a brief announcement about this book, written by Cheryl E. Woodson, MD., and thought it sounded good, so I requested a review copy. I wasn't disappointed.
Dr. Woodson is a geriatrician and a family caregiver. Both roles shine through in this excellent resource. Written with wit, and the wisdom of one who has been there, To Survive Cargiving packs an amazing amount of information in a slim volume. The fact that Dr. Woodson and I agree on nearly everything about caregiving, from the demands on caregivers, to the need to stand up for oneself, to the spirituality that can get us through tough times and the rewards of giving, doesn't hurt.
The format of the book keeps it snappy and readable. I've highlighted so many paragraphs and bent so many pages that I lost track of what I think is most valuable. It's all valuable.
Some gems that are either chapter headings or taken from text:
"Don't Ask, Don't Tell---Won't Work: Let People Know You Need Help."
"Disability is not a character flaw and it should not be hidden from other family members, neighbors, church members, or business associates."
"Keep Your ‘I LOVE YOUs' Up To Date."
"It's OK to dislike caregiving."
"If the seniors have no mental problems, they are allowed to make bad decisions."
"If Parents Knew Better, They'd Do Better."
"Add Life to Years, Rather Than Years to Life."
I don't mean to imply that this is a book of quips. It's deep. It's insightful. It's full of practical information delivered in a no-nonsense manner, but with humor and grace. There are many resources and references for more information.
And, as if written specifically for this particular month - National Family Caregivers Month - Dr. Woodson ends her book with this sentence: "Taking care of you IS taking care of them. Carry on!"
To Survive Caregiving was published by Infinity Publishing and is available from the publisher and from Dr. Woodson's Web site at www.woodsonctr.com. I highly recommend it.
Published On: November 03, 2008