5 Books on Caring for Aging Parents and Grandparents

The National Alliance for Caregiving and the AARP estimated that about 34.2 million Americans have provided care to an adult 50 or older. The Alzheimer’s Association found that approximately 15.7 million adult family caregivers have cared for loved ones living with Alzheimer’s. Caring for aging parents, grandparents, family or friends is becoming a common experience. Many of us find reading stories from other caregivers helpful to understand and prepare for care-giving duties. Below are a couple books that depict the challenges of caring for seniors.

“The 36-Hour Day: A Family Guide to Caring for People Who Have Alzheimer Disease, Other Dementias, and Memory Loss” by Nancy L. Mace and Peter V. Rabins

  • Reviewers recommended the book to people who have a family member suffering from the illness. One reviewer said, “This book is useful – points out places you can go for help, things to watch out for, things to make sure the doctor looks into and doesn’t just write off as “getting older” and ways to improve their quality of life.”

“Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant” by Roz Chast

  • The novel illustrates the authors memories of caring for her parents. One reviewer said “Every boomer – who expects her parents to live forever- eventually deals with all of this if her mother reaches 90 and beyond. It’s a surrealistic and lonely feelings and if you don’t laugh, you’ll cry. For a few wonderful hours, Chast made me feel as if someone else got it and I wasn’t so alone.”

“Special Exits” by Joyce Farmer

Farmers personal experience was translated into this story as an adult who shouldered the care of her parents with declining health. One reviewer said, “This is a beautifully told portrait of elder care, which even under the best of circumstances is trying and difficult.”

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