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Mindfulness-Based Elder Care: A Cam Model for Frail Elders and Their Caregivers
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on March 28, 2008
This book is a clear, accessible and wholehearted presentation of a skillfull way of caring for our elderly and ourselves as their caregivers. McBee brings mindfulness into elder care with a wholistic approach which is not often found in nursing homes and assisted living environments and in general in how many of us deal with older people. The information, practices and reflections are useful for professional care givers, researchers, experts in geriatric care/health and regular folks like you and me, who deal with aging of our loved ones and ourselves. Beautifully written, a mindful reminder to all of us that we all travel this road and can bring a new perspective and attitude to how we respond to this inevitable part of life.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on March 28, 2008
Ms. McBee's writing is clear and enjoyable. The organization and material in this book makes it an extremely valuable resource for those working with elders, living with elders, those who spend any time with elders and those hoping to be elders themselves one day. Best of all- Ms. McBee's inclusion of stories and anecdotes and her personal syle of writing. An exceptional book of mindfulness practice and living life with more awarness, kindness and compassion in all stages.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on October 26, 2008
This is a must read book, not only for those in the "elder care" professions, such as nursing homes, but for ordinary people who may have the responsibility of caring for their aging parents. The author, Lucia McBee has based her practice of "mindfulness" on comprehensive scientific research but, for me, the most valuable of the many exercises she recommends comes from her personal experience as a geriatric social worker. The writing is clear, practical and empathetic. I wish the book had been available as I moved my ailing mother from one assisted care place to another searching for the kind of mindfulness-based elder care that Lucia McBee describes in this book. It is care that can make a person's last years as peaceful and pleasurable possible.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 26, 2014
When I started caring for my mother, Judy, in 2005, I never paid much attention to “mindfulness” practices (such as meditation, yoga, and breathing exercises) to reduce stress. As I juggled dementia caregiving with my job and family, my own health took a back seat. If Lucia McBee’s book “Mindfulness-Based Elder Care” had been available when I began my caregiving journey, I might have figured out much earlier than I did that caregiving can be more enjoyable if you take it one moment at a time, concentrating on “being” with a person, not just running around doing things for them.

“The essential practice of mindfulness,” McBee writes, “involves being present in each moment.” Striving toward compassion for ourselves and others, and letting go of judgment and self-judgment, are also important parts of mindfulness. This compassion for ourselves as caregivers is especially important, as we often feel as if we “are not doing enough or not doing it correctly.”

With over 25 years of experience as a geriatric social worker and mindfulness-based stress reduction practitioner, McBee, LCSW, MPH, walks the reader through specific ‘mindfulness” exercises for each of the book’s three intended audiences: elders, family caregivers, and professional caregivers. She weaves these mindfulness exercises, and background information about the history of mindfulness-based elder care and “culture change” movements in elder care, with short anecdotes about elders and caregivers who have tried mindfulness groups. She also includes some excellent chapters on mindfulness exercises for people with mild to severe dementia; yoga exercises for people who are wheelchair- or bed-bound; and helpful tips such as “mini relaxation exercises” for when you’re standing in line at the check-out counter or stuck in traffic. However, since this book has three intended audiences, there is some repetition. Chapters near the end of the book, for example, repeat similar exercises for different groups, but you can always skip to the chapters that are most relevant to you as a reader.

Mindfulness groups encourage caregivers—whether professional caregivers or family caregivers—to react more thoughtfully in stressful situations and to take breaks from caregiving to care for themselves. Participants often sleep better, and they feel more satisfaction in their caregiving role. “Caregivers could be ‘in the moment’ with their loved one, rather than worrying about the past or future.” As McBee writes, “the experience of caregiving can be stressful, but also an opportunity to deepen the relationship between caregiver and care provider…All members note simple but powerful changes in their quality of life.”

I have taken classes on mindfulness –based stress reduction, and the techniques did help me slow down and “be” with my mother in the moment. As her dementia progressed, I learned to communicate with her through body language instead of words, to listen “mindfully” when she did try to speak, and to appreciate simple pleasures that we could share, such as sitting outside in the sun, listening to music, or holding hands. I encourage people who are living with the early stages of dementia, and their care partners, to read this book and try some of the mindfulness exercises. The only down side to this book is its cost (on the high side for most family caregivers).
-- author, "Inside the Dementia Epidemic: A Daughter's Memoir"
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on July 9, 2013
We all deserve people being fully present with us. It is so easy in healthcare taking care of all the requirements, it is easy to be mindful with the clients let alone ourselves. The materials to fuel staff inservices is helpful.
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