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The Emotional Survival Guide for Caregivers: Looking After Yourself and Your Family While Helping an Aging Parent 1st Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 47 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1572307292
ISBN-10: 1572307293
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

For anyone with the responsibility of caring for a sick or disabled parent, this clear-eyed guide will be of real assistance. Jacobs, director of behavioral sciences for the Crozer-Keystone Family Medicine Residency Program in Pennsylvania, knows firsthand the emotional and financial devastation such illness can cause: his father died of cancer when Jacobs was 13. He illustrates the problems caregivers face through the story of two women (composites of caregivers he has known), middle-aged, married sisters struggling with the cancer of their widowed mother from diagnosis to death. As Jacobs points out, the sisters, their mother and her doctors are not perfect models of resilience and wisdom: rather, they're average people whom readers will be able to identify with and learn from. Through this story, Jacobs explores how to define your commitment to caregiving and recruit relatives as well as professionals to help, along with strategies for preserving your own personal life during an extended illness. Jacobs recommends that family members meet regularly, even online, to negotiate caregiving responsibilities. Jacobs's frankness about the emotional as well as medical traps that await families dealing with serious illness, and his concrete advice on how to handle them, offers in-depth support to caregivers. (June)
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Review

"Guidelines, advice, and questions for the reader are interspersed with the narrative. This insightful book is an important guide for any family trying to care for a loved one." -- Family Caregiver Alliance Update

"His Q&A approach...is perceptive without being intrusive, instructive without being dogmatic, informative without being technical, compassionate without being maudlin and focuses on problem solving without being cookie-cutter in approach. Even if you are not now a caregiver, it is an important read since many of you will probably become one sooner than later." -- eNN: Eldercare Network News

"Jacobs has a gripping writing style and a passion for the subject that sustain the reader during even the heaviest of topics. His use of the narrative makes the book easy to follow, while creating natural places to interject advice from his extensive knowledge about the stresses of caregiving. He addresses the touchy subjects that caregivers might be ashamed or afraid to ask about, reassuring them that feelings of resentment, guilt, and isolation are normal reactions that go with the territory of caregiving." -- Newsday

"There's plenty of practical advice on communication and finding meaning in suffering, but Jacobs's most valuable contribution is that he lays out the most dreadful selfish, unworthy thoughts anyone looking after a terminally ill parent could possibly have--and then assures us: Everyone feels that way." -- Philadelphia

"Wise material....A collection of questions and answers explores different facets of the caregiving task and offers specific tips and strategies for success. The resources section lists a variety of organizations, publications, and web sites....Highly recommended." -- Library Journal (starred review)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 261 pages
  • Publisher: The Guilford Press; 1 edition (March 17, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1572307293
  • ISBN-13: 978-1572307292
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #85,475 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By David B. Seaburn on April 25, 2006
Format: Paperback
Barry Jacobs has written an excellent book not only for caregivers of aging medically ill parents but for professionals who work with patients and families coping with chronic illness. Several things stand out in this book. First is the approach which involves following a ficionalized pair of adult sisters who are caring for and coping with an ailing mother. Jacobs writes this account with great depth and creativity and is able to capture the kinds of feelings and describe the kinds of patterns that are often missing in other 'self help' books. Second, Jacobs also utilizes his own expereince, personal and professional, including advice columns he has written over the years. Third, the book covers evrerything from how to decide how much care you can provide to how to consider spiritual and other issues. Fourth, along the way are plenty of very valuable "how to" suggestions that will be of great benefit to any reader. If you are looking for even one caregiving book for your bookshelf, choose this one. Excellent read. Excellent resource.
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Format: Paperback
Author Barry Jacobs has done his homework well and speaks of his subject matter with both expertise and the human touch of one who knows this territory first hand from having lived it both personally and professionally. As a practicing clinician, I have recommended it to many patients who are struggling with issues around the aging and declining health of their parents. Jacobs provides a prospective that steers a middle course between acknowledging the guilt that adult children feel around the need to take care of themselves while taking care of their parent, and the real physical and emotional demands of caretaking. Besides all that, he is a good writer and tells us about the central lessons of caretaking through the story of two sisters facing the serious illness of their mother. This subject is one most of us have to face sooner or later, and Barry Jacobs gives us an excellent guide as to how to navigate the terrain as well as possible.

Jan Goldman, Psy.D.
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Format: Paperback
The Emotional Survival Guide for Caregivers is an amazing book focused around the difficulties faces by two sisters taking care of their ailing mother. Real people can relate to the characters and their struggles are real to many people across America and the rest of the world. I think that anyone who is a caregiver should definately read this book.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
My Mother has Parkinson's Disease and as her only caregiver (in a family of many) for the past six years I felt alone and on the verge of giving up when I found this book. Thank you Barry Jacobs you saved my life and my Mother's life. I no longer feel alone and am working through the pages a little at a time with hope to survive
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I was struggling trying to be a new caregiver to someone with dementia. When I read this book, I immediately tried some of the tips. The response was positive. This advice works. I did end up placing the lady, though, because its just not my personality to be that selfless. Being a caregiver is not for everybody. But, if I can use these tips to plow through a rough patch, I know YOU can too! Helpful book!
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Profound insight in the real needs of caregiving families. He brings it to life in a narrative of 2 sisters caring for their mom, and how their life experiences, i.e. life script, plays into their approach. His answers provide further insight, not solutions, to the family relationship dynamics in a caregiving situation. A must read for every family in this kind of situation.
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An easy to read, well-organized book that speaks directly to the different challenges facing caregivers and families supporting aging elders. Includes practical advice on how to understand and manage your own stress as well as understanding how these situations feed into what may already be complex family dynamics. I've been recommending it to everyone I know who is involved in caring for an elderly parent, either alone, or with the support of aides, other family members, or providing support to someone else who is a primary caregiver.
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I have been in a caregiving situation for twelve years. I wish I had read this book at the start. I found it very helpful and insightful with meaning for me even at this stage in the process. I would recommend this for any caregiver of a person with a chronic disease.
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