Sunday, March 30, 2008
Book Review: Caregiving The Spiritual Journey of Love, Loss, and Renewal
Helping your family and loved ones when they need you most
"Caregiving has a big heart–on a much-needed topic. A rare book of spiritual and practical wisdom."–Sue Benderauthor of Plain and Simple and Everyday Sacred
"A poignant, wise, and in-the-trenches view of caregiving that is both practical and spiritual, especially of value to midlife adults."–Jean Shinoda Bolen, M.D., author of Goddesses in Everywoman and Close to the Bone
"Lovely. . . . Beth McLeod’s experience and wisdom shine through as she shares her heartfelt journey of loss, surrender, hope, and healing."–David Simon, M.D. medical director, the Chopra Center for Well Being, author of Vital Energy and Return to Wholeness
Sooner or later it will touch us all: A family member or loved one becomes ill or disabled, and we step in to help. This is caregiving, and in this powerful, unique book, prizewinning writer and advocate Beth Witrogen McLeod leads us through the caregiving journey with unflinching authority and compassion. Framed by the author's personal odyssey as a caregiver and richly informed by the inspiring and poignant tales of others, Caregiving explores medical and financial problems, all aspects of spirituality, and such issues as depression, stress, housing, home care, and end-of-life concerns. A rare blend of powerful storytelling and practical information, Caregiving is a revelation.
From the Inside Flap
"By my old professor’s side, I learned the precious value of caregiving. I am grateful that Beth McLeod has put together a fine source to help bring out the helping heart in all of us." —Mitch Albom author of Tuesdays with Morrie Sooner or later it will touch us all: A family member or loved one becomes ill or disabled, and we step in to help. This is caregiving, and in this powerful, unique book, prizewinning writer and advocate Beth Witrogen McLeod leads us through the caregiving journey with unflinching authority and compassion. Whether it involves caring for an aging parent, an ill spouse or partner, or a disabled child, caregiving takes us into a new reality quite unlike that of our usual workaday life. Too often, we don’t know where to find help or what questions to ask, and the health care system seems to get more complex every day. An indispensable guide for anyone who is or has been a caregiver or who anticipates becoming one, Caregiving includes advice from leaders in the fields of aging, medicine, finance, and spirituality. It explores medical and financial problems as well as such issues as depression, stress, housing, home care, and end-of-life concerns. The author also includes dozens of helpful resources at the back of the book. Framed by the author’s personal odyssey as a caregiver, Caregiving is richly informed by the inspiring and poignant tales of other caregivers. Caregiving shows that while at first we experience the dark night of the soul, through service to others we can discover our true nature and develop loving kindness and compassion; through caregiving we can see the renewal of both self and community. Personal transformation has been witnessed in sacred traditions throughout human history, and in Caregiving Beth McLeod draws on the wisdom of Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and shamanism, and on the writings of current and past spiritual figures, to illuminate the way. A rare blend of powerful storytelling and practical information, Caregiving is a revelation. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Beth Witrogen McLeod's book Caregiving The Spiritual Journey of Love, Loss, and Renewal is a must read for any person taking care of an ill loved one, whether they are a child, spouse and/or aging parent. My interview with Beth revealed a strong woman with a fierce determination to help other caregivers make the most of a very painful situation. Beth includes her own personal journey along with the stories of hundreds of people she has met online in her chat groups or in person during her many public appearances in her incredible book. As the creator and editor of HotFlash! a woman's online perimenopause/menopause magazine and online support group, I have found women in the same place as Beth. She has described so well in her book the guilt, the pain, the sorrow and yes, at times, the joy of taking care of a sick loved one. In attempting to find hope and love in a truly difficult situation, Beth guides us to make good decisions not only for the person needing care but for the person herself. She pulls back the curtain on this often overlooked yet important topic.
This is a must read for anyone taking care of a loved one and for the rest of us who will one day be in these extraordinary shoes.
Caregiving is a special gift, written from the heart. I haven't been able to keep a copy. As soon as I get a new one, I give it away. The saying goes that one can't judge a book by its cover, but Caregiving's cover picture reveals the depths to which one goes, as page by page Beth shares her own and others experiences with caregiving, death, and the growth that can come from such profound moments. As a licensed clinical social worker and as someone who has experienced the death of both parents, I say brava! A wonderful weaving of poetic wisdom and practical suggestions.
More Books on Caregiving
Quick Tips for Caregivers
And Thou Shalt Honor: The Caregiver's Companion
Self-Care for Caregivers: A Twelve Step Approach
American Medical Association Guide to Home Caregiving