Hit the Books: FirstLight Book Picks for Caregivers


Caregiving – especially when the person you’re caring for is a loved one – can be a complex journey. Whether you’re a family caregiver or an individual who provides care professionally, finding resources that can help you understand the changes, challenges and stressors of a person needing care can be invaluable. And it can help support, comfort and inspire you as a caregiver.Woman in Library Series

As we close out October – which happens to be National Book Month – and look toward National Home Care Month and National Family Caregivers Awareness Month in November, FirstLight Home Care shares the following picks for books we encourage caregivers to read. We hope these resources will enrich your caregiving experience.


Book Pick:
Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End
Author:
Atul Gawande, M.D., MPH, a Harvard-trained, practicing surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, professor at Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health and writer for The New Yorker magazine
Recommended By:
Emily Wilson, director of business development, FirstLight Home Care of Boulder
Recommended Because:
This book provides insight into the aging process, as well as practical guidance for having meaningful conversations with medical professionals about planning for and making decisions about care during the last years of life.
Synopsis:
Aging and death are inevitable. Even so, modern medicine focuses primarily on healing and extending life. Being Mortal includes research, storytelling and perspective about enhancing the life experience to provide not only a good life, but also a good end. The author addresses medicine’s limitations and explores what he considers to be freer, more socially fulfilling models for assisting those who are sick or aging – or both. The ultimate goal: To make the final chapter of life rich and dignified.
Number of Pages:
304
Published:
2014


Book Pick:
Still Alice
Author:
Lisa Genova, a neuroscientist who authors novels about people with neurological diseases and disorders, considered to be one of the Top 50 Influencers in Aging in the United States
Recommended By:
Christopher Ruth, owner, FirstLight HomeCare of the Gold Coast and
Susan Lindgren, owner, FirstLight Home Care of West Indianapolis
Recommended Because:
According to Chris, “This New York Times Bestseller is a heart-wrenching depiction of Alice’s experience with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. It is an incredibly useful perspective for anyone with a friend or family member with this terrible disease.” Susan adds, “This book is excellent because it gives insight into what a person with a dementia disease is going through as the disease progresses. It also shows the tensions of the family members as they adjust to these life changes, which helps them understand what to expect.”
Synopsis:
This work of fiction is written in the first person to help the reader relate to the experiences of Alice Howland. A 50-year-old, accomplished cognitive psychology professor at Harvard, Alice is living a successful, comfortable life in Cambridge with her husband when she begins experiencing the first signs of Alzheimer’s disease. Through her journey, during which she comes to terms with her disease and begins to experience its most heartbreaking symptoms, Alice learns that her worth is comprised of more than her ability to remember. The book is now also a movie starring Julianne Moore, Alec Baldwin, Kate Bosworth and Kristen Stewart.
Number of Pages:
352
Published:
2014


Book Pick:
The Dementia Concept
Author:
Josh Freites, an award-winning memory care program developer and researcher, who created an innovative philosophy for dementia care centered around understanding, connecting and engaging
Recommended By:
Molly Rowe, owner, FirstLight Home Care of Salem
Recommended Because:
I’ve both heard Josh Freites speak and read his book. His information and practical ideas for family caregivers are like nothing I’ve read or heard before. He provides great ideas for stimulating the mind, engaging even those with advanced dementia and using things like color, smell and touch to bring on positive reactions in loved ones with the disease.
Synopsis:
Written primarily for those who are caring for people with dementia, the book serves as a guide for understanding Alzheimer’s disease and related forms of dementia, as well as improving the lives of those living with the conditions. The book includes three parts. In Part 1 – Understand, readers learn the signs, symptoms and stages of dementia and how it changes people with the disease. In Part 2 – Connect, readers explore the core principles of connecting to individuals with dementia. In Part 3 – Engage, readers learn to apply The Dementia Concept principles to specific events and interactions to help both dementia sufferers and the people who care for them.
Number of Pages:
176
Published:
2015


Book Pick:
Family Caregiving: A Step-by-Step Guide to Successful Caregiving
Author:
Brett Lewis, a writer who became a family caregiver for both his father and a close friend
Recommended By:
FirstLight Home Office
Recommended Because:
This book is a candid, insightful read. And because it was written by an individual who was unexpectedly thrust into caring for a loved one, it is authentic and relatable for the family caregiver.
Synopsis:
Author Brett Lewis explores the role of the family caregiver, which he describes as “one of the most precious and fulfilling gifts of love that can be given to a family member or friend – and also one of the most difficult tasks to undertake.” The book is written as a guide for the steps family caregivers should take to care for their loved ones, and themselves. Lewis shares his real-world experiences, mistakes, fears, stresses, lessons learned and successes to help readers better navigate the journey of caregiving.
Number of Pages:
174
Published:
2012


More Recommendations
Looking for additional book recommendations to help you on your caregiving journey? The publishers of Today’s Caregiver magazine provide dozens of recommendations as part of their Caregiver Book Club. The club was developed by caregivers for caregivers.

More Support, from FirstLight
Caregiving can be complicated. And if you’re a family caregiver, you don’t have to do it alone. If you need support and advice, FirstLight can help. Our non-medical home care services can enhance the care you provide for your loved one. And our Just Ask FirstLight service can connect you to an expert who can answer your questions about caregiving and guide you to additional resources.

 

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