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Passages in Caregiving: Turning Chaos into Confidence Hardcover – May 4, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
More About the Author
Gail Sheehy is the world-renowned author of seventeen books, most notably the New York Times best-seller Passages, named one of the ten most influential books by the Library of Congress and which has been translated into twenty-eight languages.
Her latest book, DARING: My Passages, is a memoir available now for preorder; September 2014 from HarperCollins.
As a literary journalist, Sheehy was one of the original contributors to New York magazine. A contributing editor to Vanity Fair since 1984, she won the Washington Journalism Review Award for Best Magazine Writer in America for her in-depth character portraits of national and international leaders.
Sheehy is a seven-time recipient of the New York Newswomen's Club Front Page Award for distinguished journalism. Among her other bestsellers are Sex and the Seasoned Woman; Hillary's Choice; New Passages; Understanding Men's Passages; and Passages in Caregiving.
A popular lecturer, she is represented by American Program Bureau (617-614-1607).
She currently resides in New York City.
Top Customer Reviews
Gail Sheehy is a writer who became well-known with her books Passages and Hillary's Choice, a biography of Hillary Clinton. Sheehy built her career as a literary journalist.
In Passages in Caregiving, Sheehy uses her journalistic style to report on eight stages of caregiving, which she calls "Turnings." The stages range from "shock and mobilization" to "the long goodbye." Sheehy offers strategies for solving the problems associated with each turning.
Throughout the book, Sheehy offers a memoir about caring for her ailing husband for seventeen years. He'd been a foremost pioneer in the editing and magazine industry, as well as a professor. She takes the reader on their journey in personal narrative. There is no guidebook for such an individual path, so Sheehy shows the reader how she literally took one day at a time. She says she attended Alcoholics Anonymous meetings for support and stability.
Sheehy also includes the narratives of others who are caregiving. These stories were obtained when Sheehy had the opportunity to interview them at crucial turning points. Additionally, there is an extensive index for ease of reference to any topic, ranging from objective needs (finding a hospice) to subjective feelings (such as guilt). Resources are included in the book, but some of them are not available to the typical American caregiver. For example, Sheehy suggests hiring a research guide to navigate the internet for you, summarize the findings, and report the results to you.
In his late seventies, my stepfather is the primary caregiver for my mother, who has terminal cancer and Alzheimer's.Read more ›
I've been a caregiver for my wife for over 30 years, and many of Sheehy's suggestions and resources were helpful (or would have been helpful) to both of us over the years. And, it's always interesting to learn about other people's experiences -- sometimes they are extraordinarily helpful.
One example: about 27 years ago I saw a public television documentary about a young couple with a small child, the husband with an incurable form of cancer and with a life expectancy in months. The young wife was poorly educated but very articulate: she worried about how well she was able to care for her husband, whether she was caring for her child properly, what she would do once her husband was gone to care for herself and her child.
On the purely human level, she confessed that she wished her husband were dead -- her life and her child's life would be much better, and neither of them were able to do anyting really important for their husband and father. A few moments later she was very angry at herself for her betrayal of her husband, and guilty, wondering if she was an evil person in the sight of God. The human agony she expressed was heart breaking -- and instructive for me.
Many times over the past several years I've worried whether I've done all I could, or as well as I could, to help my wife. Every time, though, that I started to feel guilty about those failures, I remembered that young woman and the extra self induced agony she was adding to her own life. She's inspired me many times to simply acknowledge that I could have done something better ... inspired me to resolve to do better in the future ... and simply prevent myself from feeling the guilt attendant to my failings.Read more ›
Interspersed with Sheehy's memoir, is a section set apart (at least in my review copy) called "Strategies." This part of the book uses a drab san serif font and is set into an even drabber gray box on the page. It consists of plainly written suggestions (which are easily available elsewhere) for us non-famous, non-rich, non-celebrity folks, like taking up gardening or an old hobby to reduce stress (no spa time for us!). The third part of the book consists of case histories, where Sheehy dutifully went around the country and interviewed couples and families who care for for ill and aging relatives. Again, it's the kind of information that's available elsewhere and the writing feels like Sheehy wasn't particularly engaged with her subjects. I haven't read any of Sheehy's other books which may have the same format, but I found this book oddly organized. The abrupt change of tone between Sheehy's description of her own experience and rest of the book makes it editorially jarring.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a fabulous book! Very helpful for anyone in the caregiving field for elders. It give you lots of information on everything a family member needs to be aware of and taking... Read morePublished 5 days ago by J
So much information in here, just a treasure of a book for anyone caretaking. And for everyone, I suppose, since most of us will be in that position some day.Published 3 months ago by Gerald B.
The name of this book is a misnomer. It should be "Passages in Caregiving for the Rich and Famous". Ms. Read morePublished 4 months ago by becky miltenberger
Anyone who knows someone or who is in a position of caregiving should read this book.....it is excellent.....it is so much more than just her experience.... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
Sheehy is an author I have long adored. She went above and beyond in this book, giving me everything I wanted and needed and more.Published 6 months ago by James Sherman
Great and practical suggestions with the appropriate contact information, which makes it very useful. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Senior Sally
This was helpful when I was caring for my Mother. It was good to hear from someone who was facing the same stresses and concerns.Published 6 months ago by League City Sue
This book is very well written and includes a lot of resources. The ONLY reason I did not give it a 5 star rating is because I feel the author fails to take into account those... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Lori D'Amico