2014 Summer Reading List for Caregivers

After booking your much needed summer vacation one of the most important questions you’ll answer is what book(s) are you taking to read? It can be harder to decide than what attire to pack. If you’re a family caregiver, we have a summer reading list to help you pick out important titles on aging, elder care, and caregiving. Maybe you need tangible how-to advice, or maybe you’re looking for a fresh perspective on what it means to age as you face your own life journey. Maybe you just need to be supported by hearing another human being’s experience with the same challenges. We have a variety of options to help you find whatever it is you’re looking for in a good book this summer. They will make you laugh, they will make you cry, and above all they will give you the information and connection you need to get you through the experience of supporting an aging loved one. Happy Reading!

Living in the Land of Limbo
Edited by Carol Levine

This anthology combines short stories and poems about family caregivers This collection explores health care, choices in elder care, devotion to loved ones, dementia, MS, and much more. In hearing from fresh voices as well as well-known poets and writers from a variety of cultural backgrounds, it gives the reader the sense of not being alone in the often hidden work of caregiving.

 

 

 

The Art of Aging
Dr. Sherwin B. Nuland

Sherwin Nuland has been a prolific voice in building the perception of how our bodies live, age, and die. Dr. Nuland explores the impact of aging on our minds, bodies, relationships, and dreams. His scientific mind and understanding of people make this an inspiring reflection on the life journey in its final stages.

 

 

 

 

Incontinent on the Continent: My Mother, Her Walker, & Our Grand Tour of Italy
by: Jane Christmas

The mother-daughter relationship is a unique one and it can be difficult to navigate it’s changes as adult daughters turn into caregivers of their aging mothers. In this book, a daughter takes her mother on a trip to Italy determined to reconcile with walker and medications in tow.

 

 

 

 

The Fountain of Age
by: Betty Friedan

“We have denied the reality and evaded the new triumphs of growing older. We have seen age online as decline”, said Betty Friedan. This book is a personal record of her own aging process and the lessons and perspectives we often miss as a culture that values youth above all else.  

 

 

 

 

Second Wind: Navigating the Passage to a Slower Deeper & More Connected Life
by: Dr. Bill Thomas

 Dr. Bill Thomas is one of the few geriatricians in America. After focusing on the life and care of aging adults, he is an innovative thinker in medicine and aging. This book is his address to the baby boomer generation that is approaching a new phase in life he would call “elder hood”. His TED talk on aging reached millions of viewers and now he is expounding on fresh ideas in his new book.  

 

 

 

Let’s Talk Dementia: A Caregiver’s Guide
by: Carol Howell

It’s not just individuals that get Alzheimer’s Disease, families get Alzheimer’s disease. This book provides education and guidance to family caregivers helping them to understand the present reality they are experiencing while educating them on what to expect in the future. It is not without its moments of humor as it provides tangible tips to make dementia caregiving work for families.

 

 

 

 

Elder Rage or, Take My Father Please: How to Survive Caring for Aging Parents
by: Jacqueline Marcell

This non-fiction novel folds humor into wisdom as it follows Jacqueline Marcell’s experience of managing the care of her aging parents. Its creative solutions are backed by real experience which makes it very relatable for family caregivers. How do you effectively manage their care and how do you deal with difficult behaviors? These are just some of the many questions this book tackles.  

 

 

 

 

Still Alice
by: Lisa Genova

This book follows 50 year old Harvard Professor as she discovers she has early onset Alzheimer’s disease. Ms. Genova holds a Ph. D in neuroscience from Harvard University and has a wonderful family and life. This work is a beautiful record of her attempt to stay present to the life she loves and stay in the moment while facing the realities of what is to come. Sometimes you need fiction to help tell the truth.

 

 

 

How to Say It to Seniors: Closing the Communication Gap with Our Elders
by: David Solie, M.S., P.A.

As a geriatric psychology expert, David Solie tackles the communication blocks that can happen between generations. He opens up the perspectives of seniors and helps caregivers step into the shoes of the elderly loved ones they are caring for. This insightful book has crucial tips for an aging society that is turning 65 by the thousands daily.  

 

 

 

29: A Novel
by: Adena Halpern

When a 75 year old Ellie celebrates her birthday, she wishes more than anything that she could be 29 again just for one day. This is a story of three generations of women and how one birthday wish changes everything that they know about each other. This book simultaneously asks, what does it mean to be young? and what does it mean to age?

Published on April 21, 2014.