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NLS Minibibliographies


December 2016


When people find themselves in the position of caring for a loved one, often they have had little time to prepare. Disabilities resulting from disease or an accident can occur with no warning. Caregivers may feel overwhelmed by their responsibilities and isolated by the necessity of providing day-to-day care. Many neglect their own needs while giving priority to their loved one.

This minibibliography lists titles in the NLS collection that deal with the problems caregivers have to handle. The general section includes titles that explain the importance of avoiding burnout and go over techniques for specific situations. The Alzheimer’s and other diseases sections present titles about meeting the needs of loved ones. The final section, Personal Accounts, authors share their experiences and feelings.

Both braille and audio titles can be downloaded from the NLS Braille and Audio Reading Download (BARD) website or requested from your local library. Contact your local library to register for BARD. Registered users may also download audio titles on iOS and Android devices using the BARD Mobile app. Braille titles may be downloaded on an iOS device linked by Bluetooth to a refreshable braille display.


Caring for Yourself while Caring for Your Aging Parents
by Claire Berman

A guide for children who care for aging parents. Offers advice on balancing the needs of parent and caregiver, while protecting the physical and emotional health of the latter. Covers key areas such as sibling stress, communication, and the nursing home dilemma. 1996.

DB 42931

Life's Little Emergencies: A Handbook for Active Independent Seniors and Caregivers
by Rod Brouhard

Paramedic's step-by-step guide to preventing and treating common injuries and illnesses. Includes instructions for administering CPR and first aid and advice for dealing with emergencies such as fires, snakebites, and natural disasters. 2012.

BR 19481
DB 74131

Helping Yourself Help Others
by Rosalynn Carter

The former first lady, a director of the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Human Development, presents a handbook for those who care for chronically ill or disabled relatives or friends. Based on a study by Caregivers Network in west central Georgia and illustrated with Carter's own experiences, the book identifies issues and offers advice and a list of resources. 1994.

DB 39973

The Caregiving Wife's Handbook
by Diana B. Denholm

Medical psychotherapist—who cared for her husband for more than a decade—offers tools and strategies for assisting one's spouse through critical illness or injury. Drawing on case studies and her own experience, Denholm discusses survival tips, communication skills, social and familial issues, and self-care techniques. 2012.

DB 77191

Living Well in a Nursing Home
by Lynn Dickinson

Guide for the elderly and their caregivers to evaluating long-term care options. Focuses on the positive aspects of assisted living. Offers strategies for selecting an appropriate facility and making the most of one's stay by managing conflicts, working with staff, and staying healthy and active. Includes resources. 2006.

DB 63186

Saying Goodbye to Someone You Love
by Norine Dresser

Offers guidelines and advice for coping with an imminent death. Explains the function of hospices and discusses caregivers' challenges, end-of-life decisions, funerals, and the ways children grieve. Includes personal examples that illustrate the topics covered. 2010.

DB 72234

Handbook for Mortals
by Joan K. Harrold

Physicians offer practical advice to caretakers and patients on planning both medical and emotional responses to cases of severe illness. Topics include coping techniques, family matters, sudden death, mourning and grieving, and enduring losses. Suggests steps that help prepare for the future and lists organizations that can provide information and assistance. 1999.

DB 48469

The Eldercare Handbook
by Stella Mora Henry

Long-term care specialist's advice on navigating the emotional and logistical aspects of caring for aging loved ones. Covers recognizing and managing dementia, coping with denial and changing family roles, avoiding caregiver burnout, transitioning to an assisted living facility, and handling legal and financial matters such as Medicare and Medicaid. 2006.

DB 63152

Caregiver's Path to Compassionate Decision Making
by Viki Kind

Clinical bioethicist offers a caregivers' guide to making health-care choices for patients who are unable to do so. Draws on case studies, anecdotes, and frameworks for decision-making. Discusses quality-of-life issues, medical concerns, care facilities, and other considerations. 2010.

DB 75455

No One Has to Die Alone: Preparing for a Meaningful Death
by Lani Leary

Psychotherapist draws on her personal and professional experiences to offer advice and resources to those coping with illness, death, and bereavement. Aims for readers to feel "gratitude rather than grief, and love rather than loss," after the passing of a family member or friend. 2012.

BR 19849

Alzheimer’s Disease

Learning to Speak Alzheimer’s
by Joanne Koenig Coste

Family therapist offers a humanistic approach to coping with Alzheimer's and related forms of progressive dementia. Offers practical solutions for bathing, dressing, eating, toileting, spending leisure time, and handling behavior issues, emphasizing the importance of creating a positive atmosphere for the well-being of both patients and caregivers. 2003.

DB 64676

Alzheimer’s Essentials
by Bretten C. Gordeau

Concise, comprehensive guide for caring for patients with Alzheimer's disease, dementia, or other cognitive impairments. Discusses handling patients' daily needs, coping with behavioral changes, and assuring proper nutrition. Also covers financial, safety, and end-of-life issues. Does not provide medical advice. Includes resources. 2005.

DB 62835

The 36-Hour Day
by Nancy L. Mace

Fifth edition of guide for families whose members suffer from dementia. Covers related social, medical, psychological, financial, and legal problems and suggests possible solutions. Includes information on hospice, assisted facility care, and advances in medical research. 2011.

DB 78434

Inside Alzheimer’s: How to Hear and Honor Connections with a Person Who has Dementia
by Nancy D. Pearce

Medical social worker offers a guide to sharing meaningful moments with Alzheimer's or dementia patients who may have difficulty communicating. Discusses facilitating relationships using six basic principles: intent, freeing oneself of judgments and expectations, love, openness to being loved, silence, and thankfulness. Includes anecdotes, exercises, and resources. 2007.

BR 17473

The Emotional Journey of the Alzheimer’s Family
by Robert B. Santulli

Immediate family members, friends, and neighbors of those with Alzheimer's undergo tremendous psychological and emotional change as they witness the disease progress. Santulli and Blandin chart this journey, the process of adaptation and acceptance, and provide insight on how to understand and cope with personal stress. 2015.

BR 20868
DB 82305

Other Diseases

Arthritis and You
by Naheed Ali

Reviews the various types of arthritis, their symptoms, and both traditional and alternative treatment options. Also considers the roles of caregivers and other organizations. 2013.

DB 77082

The 10 Best Questions for Recovering from a Heart Attack: The Script You Need to Take Control of Your Health
by Dede Bonner

Holistic guide for heart-attack victims and their caregivers promotes patient advocacy. Draws on advice from cardiologists, nutritionists, personal trainers, and others to form questions to ask physicians regarding tests and procedures, medications and surgery, lifestyle changes, and emotional and financial health. 2009.

BR 18387

Brain Injury Rewiring for Loved Ones
by Carolyn E. Dolen

A brain-injury survivor provides an overview of brain injury and rehabilitation tailored for those supporting loved ones through the recovery, or "rewiring," process. Discusses the benefits of both traditional and alternative medicine. Addresses emotional, cognitive, physical, social, and vocational concerns. Companion to Brain Injury Rewiring for Survivors (DB 71152). 2010.

DB 71153

Living with Rheumatoid Arthritis
by Tammi L. Shlotzhauer

Description of the physical, logistical, and emotional aspects of rheumatoid arthritis. Provides patients and caregivers the knowledge to better communicate with medical professionals. Includes information on coping strategies, exercise and rehabilitation, medications, alternative and complementary therapies, pregnancy and childbirth, and financial matters, such as disability benefits and insurance. 2014

DB 82363

Breast Cancer Husband: How to Help Your Wife (and Yourself) through Diagnosis, Treatment, and Beyond
by Marc Silver

Crash course for men on the best ways to support a wife through the ordeal of breast cancer. Part medical guide and part practical advice on caring for and understanding cancer treatment and its effects. Includes candid discussion of emotional, physical, and sexual reactions and coping options. 2004.

BR 15816
DB 59377

Overcoming Macular Degeneration
by Yale Solomon

In this updated edition of Overcoming Macular Degeneration (DB 51826), ophthalmologist Solomon, who has the condition, offers information and advice to patients. Lists special tools, including magnifiers and text-to-voice devices; issues for caregivers, such as watching for signs of depression; and resources. 2009.

DB 73559

The Lupus Book
by Daniel J. Wallace

Rheumatologist pens a resource book for patients and caretakers dealing with the autoimmune disease systemic lupus erythematosus. Explains the nature of the illness, causes, symptoms, and treatments. Also discusses management, clinical trials, and prognosis. 2013.

DB 75906

Personal Accounts

One Hundred Names for Love
by Diane Ackerman

Poet and author Ackerman recounts becoming the caretaker of her husband, novelist and critic Paul West, after he suffered a stroke in 2005 that left him with impaired vision, a frozen right hand, and aphasia. Describes the unconventional approach she tried when traditional therapies didn't work. 2011.

DB 75030

Slow Dancing with a Stranger
by Meryl Comer

Television journalist describes the journey she and her husband, NIH doctor Harvey Gralnick, have endured for the two decades since he first started to show signs of early-onset Alzheimer's at the age of fifty-one. 2014

DB 80396

Saving Milly: Love, Politics, and Parkinson’s Disease
by Morton Kondracke

Journalist recounts his vibrant wife's decline following the onset of the incurable, degenerative disease called Parkinson's. Describes their marriage in 1967, their volatile partnership, the first hand tremors in 1987 leading to the diagnosis, and the years of irreversible deterioration. Explains his transformation into a caregiver and activist for disease research. 2001.

DB 53158

The Story of My Father: A Memoir
by Sue Miller

Author of While I Was Gone (DB 47671), among other works, becomes her father's caretaker as he slowly succumbs to Alzheimer's disease. The widowed James Nichols, a retired minister, begins to show symptoms of forgetfulness in the late 1980s. Miller describes their changing relationship and other effects of his condition. 2003.

DB 56071

Tumbling After: Pedaling like Crazy after Life Goes Downhill; A Memoir
by Susan Parker

Memoir by a woman whose fiftyish physicist husband, Ralph Hager, became a C-4 quadriplegic in 1994, the result of a bicycling accident. Parker describes how, after years of an active outdoor life in California, she learned to manage Ralph's physical and emotional needs—and to tend to her own. Some strong language. 2002.

DB 55166

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Posted on 2016-12-07