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The Tough & Tender Caregiver: A Handbook for the Well Spouse Paperback – April 17, 2009

6 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1439234853 ISBN-10: 143923485X Edition: 1st

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The Tough & Tender Caregiver: A Handbook for the Well Spouse + When Someone You Love Has a Chronic Illness: Hope and Help for Those Providing Support
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

A clinical psychologist. He earned his doctorate is from the University of Iowa, including a clinical internship at Yale University. He had a thriving clinical practice and eventually became a pioneer in the business consulting industry. David has maintained a successful reputation as an organizational development business consultant for the past several decades in the Southeast. Unfortunately, his wife at the time was becoming increasingly ill. The decline began for her shortly after they were married. In the later years of David’s career, he transformed from self-employed, well respected business expert to full-time spousal caregiver. The identity and shifting of focus was slow and took David unawares. Finding his wife totally dependent and a home filled with adaptive equipment, David realized he was filled with emotional pain and no desire to live. Frightened by the thoughts, he took action and discovered the Well Spouse Association (WSA). He started a local support group with the WSA information. David was eventually able to untangle the life he built over forty years by self-analysis. A highly competent psychologist, he was able to take a look at his own life with the help of his own and personally needed support group. He was able to save himself by becoming a Tough and Tender Caregiver. With his co-author and current wife, Rhonda, also a former well spouse, they wrote this book for other people who are caring for ill or diabled spouses. Together they founded the Caregiver Survival Institute (CSI). CSI is an organization devoted to assisting caregivers with support and coaching services. Believing that caregivers, especially well spouses, are under-served by society, the medical community and social service organizations. The authors have devoted the remainders of their careers to working for recognition, education and financial support for family caregivers of all types. Caregiving for a loved one takes dedication and devotion. The price paid for caring is often personal bankruptcy, health declines and isolation. This book offers real support and advice--something the authors had a hard time finding when they were full-time caregivers.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 306 pages
  • Publisher: BookSurge Publishing; 1 edition (April 17, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 143923485X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439234853
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #903,004 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Amy Koos on February 25, 2011
Format: Paperback
The Tough and Tender Caregiver cuts through the lies and programming that people and society give burned out caregivers who have given their best but question whether sacrificing their life is really the only choice they have. The authors examine the beliefs behind stock phrases meant to help a caregiver "suck it up" and stay in place. They provide detailed steps for caregivers to negotiate to get their needs met - normal everyday human needs that mean the difference between being a member of the living dead and having a life worth living. They recognize and validate normal healthy responses to intolerable caregiver conditions. They describe the reality that "tough love" can free both caregivers and care recipients to make decisions and take actions to be responsible for the lives they want to live instead of being victims of life's circumstances. Self sacrifice and suffering only work when someone else is doing it and you are getting your needs met, or it is short term or you're a parent to little children! This book can show the caregiver the way to a better life through enlightened self interest. I recommend this book if you've ever wished your loved one would die so you can be free, if you've ever wondered if there will be anything left of you when your care recipient dies, if you feel eaten up by guilt because you want a better life for yourself or if you are ready to take charge of your own life instead of being a victim of circumstances. "This above all: to thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man." William Shakespeare
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By SRobo on June 23, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is based mostly on the poor experiences of the two authors. Although being a full-time caregiver for your spouse is definitely difficult and wrought with many of these incidents, patience, kindness, and compassion are still necessary. This is not a book for someone who believes in God or who has faith of any kind. Your beliefs will be ridiculed and questioned in this book. I would not recommend it for a spousal caregiver who truly loves their spouse and wishes to give loving, compassionate care on either a short- or long-term basis. Yes, you should remember to have discussions with your spouse about your needs and you should be sure to take care of yourself and your needs, but this is an angry look at what should be a clarifying, instructional, helpful look at what is undoubtedly a very difficult situation when you find yourself here.
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16 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Susan V Tate on November 6, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is the angriest and mean-spirited books I have ever read. The author is obviously angry about the role of a caregiver and using the book as a vehicle for ranting. The ill person is presumed to be demanding and self-centered. I have a chronic illness and my husband does a lot for me, but I am nothing like the person the author talks about. Also, I know many sick people from my support group and I've never met anyone who did not want to do things themselves. The author assumes people who need a caregiver are demanding, whining, lazy, control freaks.

I purchased the book for my husband. He picked up the book and read a little of it and was so shocked he had to read me a few paragraphs (I had already read a little of the book myself). There isn't anything uplifting or in support for the caregiver or the partner. For example, in one part of the book it tells caregivers to withhold something of value including, smiling, preparing meals, sex, etc. as a way to force the person to live up to their end of the "bargain" in marriage.

I've never written a review, but this one had to be written so another person does not get sucked into buying this book. Save your money!
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