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Caregiving Our Loved Ones: Stories and Strategies That Will Change Your Life Paperback – June 18, 2012
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The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
"What makes [Caregiving Our Loved Ones] an excellent book is that she lets the voices of the 60 women caregivers whose stories form the basis of the work ring out. Any woman who has been a caregiver will find herself resonating with someone else's words somewhere in the book. This is a book which should be read by caregivers as well as health care providers and other professionals whose work impacts on elders with sickness and disabilities." - Dr. Martha A. Nance, Medical Director, Struthers Parkinson's Center
"The caregiver narratives provide a humanistic snapshot of this under-appreciated group. Dr. Davis' personal reflections and spiritual wisdom make this book a must-read for caregivers, as well as medical professionals and health policy experts." - Becky Dunlop, Nurse Coordinator, The Johns Hopkins Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders Center
About the Author
Nanette J. Davis received her Ph.D. in Sociology from Michigan State University, and completed a post-doctorate degree at Stanford University. Nanette has more than three decades experience as an educator, writer, advocate, researcher and lecturer. Her scholarly work includes nine books and more than 100 articles, encyclopedia contributions, research reports, book chapters and reviews. Nanette was granted the prestigious Fulbright Senior Scholar Award, among other accolades, and has most recently taught at Western Washington University, Chapman University and Portland State University.
Top customer reviews
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What I particularly appreciate about Dr. Davis’ guide is that she covers the complexity of family dynamics and its inherent conflicts. It was especially heartening for me to know that I am not alone in feeling (sometimes) less-than-altruistic in my caregiving role. She identifies the stages and transitions that caregivers go through (or may remain in), and in doing so, explores the forces that form our thoughts, actions, and reactions. She also reminds us of the emotions that our loved one may be experiencing, so we may have a better understanding of their perspective.
Dr. Davis doesn't shy away from the dysfunctional free-for-alls that can and do take place when siblings and family members are in conflict over what to do when they find themselves in the trenches of caregiving.
Her suggestions for “parenting the parent” are particularly invaluable. Dr. Davis also discusses more taboo subjects that most of us would feel awkward about broaching, such as the difficulties of becoming a caregiver for one’s spouse. And she takes the time to inform her readers about the symptoms of Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, dementia, cancer, and other ailments, so they can be better prepared for their journey.
From my own personal experience and reading, I would emphasize that Dr. Davis’ accounts and insights of the complex relationships between caregivers and their loved ones are right on target. Caregivers could gain much from her tips for dealing with the ongoing emotional, financial and health toll of taking care of someone who will never get better.
“Caregiving Our Loved Ones” is a positive tome that left me feeling more empowered and energized in my role of caregiver. It has helped me set boundaries and given me new tools that I can implement today and in the days ahead. Dr. Davis’ reminds us that chronic diseases tend to have two victims—the patient and the caregiver—unless steps are taken by the caregiver to prevent losing herself and, ultimately, her health.
I highly recommend this informative and compassionate book to anyone who finds herself at the crossroads of taking on the caregiver mantle.
Caregiving has many rewarding benefits: giving back, really helping, stepping up and more. But it is also exhausting, expensive emotionally, financially and physically. It can destroy family relationships, bitter disagreements among siblings over a parent's care, or destroy your own physical health because you get lost in the draining care of another.
Dr. Davis acknowledges all of that and more. Her personal and professional experiences provide a depth of insight often unmatched in other caregiving books. Sort of a "Takes One to Know One" format. I also can relate to the real, meaningful, well thought out and implementable strategies she lists and better yet fully details in Caregiving Our Loved Ones.
Her research, interviews and writing style make this book deeply helpful but also a relatively easy read in that it is laced with interesting dialogue and stories of others. She appropriately covers the major diagnostic categories and life altering events facing our aged population and their caregivers: Parkinson's Disease, Alzheimer's, Stroke, Grief and how to advocate for them when they can't speak for themselves.
Very well done and thank you Nanette for drafting it so well!
Elaine C Pereira, award winning author of I Will Never Forget-A Daughter's Story of Her Mother's Arduous and Humorous Journey Through Dementia. [...] Also available on Amazon
One of the most beneficial aspects of the book comes from the poignant interviews conducted by the author, Nanette Davis, Ph.D. Her artfully weaving of those stories interspersed with personal experience, researched statistics and educated counsel will help you make informed decisions should you become a caregiver or a care receiver.
With sensitivity and knowledge, the author addresses the intricacies of caregiving -- the role reversal between a wife caring for her husband . . . the youth caring for the elder . . . how to involve family members . . . how to communicate with doctors . . . what questions to ask . . . the complexities of financial needs . . . to anticipate and resolve physical, mental, and emotional challenges . . . the psychological and social toll . . . time to find an assisted living or nursing home facility . . . when to know to let go . . .
A well written story of stories whose subject can be ominous: "In this era of high-tech medicine where a person can suffer for years with debilitating illness, family members morn their loved one over and over and over again." (the author) . . . Yet it is tempered with reward and satisfaction: "On the whole though, taking care of my father was an accomplishment. I felt more mature than my peers and more knowledgeable. I value integrity and I try to do the `right' thing. I did a `good deed,' I guess. I felt blessed for sacrificing some things I cared about." (a caregiver) . . . You will be grateful and rewarded to have read "Caregiving Our Loved Ones".