Circles of Care
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“My parent needs help but refuses to consider a nursing home.” That’s the dilemma facing millions of baby boomers today. How can we ensure responsible, compassionate, even uplifting care for our aging parents at home?
Mindfulness is key, Ann Cason writes. Good care begins with watching and listening, with entering the elder's world and accepting it. Drawing on decades of experience in caring for the elderly, Cason helps us understand how old age feels and how we can help.
Then, through exercises, care studies, and numerous examples and suggestions, Circles of Care shows how to:
Work out a plan of care
Assemble and foster a caregiving team
Create an uplifting daily routine—and vary it creatively
Plan nutrition, medical needs, finances, and outings
Improve the elder’s personal care and physical environment
Ease conflicts between elders and their caregivers or families
Avoid caregiver burnout
Work with mood swings, confusion, and memory loss
"Written from within the experience of caregiving, Circles of Care recognizes that no one person can handle the strain of caregiving alone, giving many fine suggestions on dealing with the irritation, frustration, and fatigue that inevitably arise. It describes the opportunity that caregivers have to know their subjects intimately and creatively, focusing not on weakness but on strength and on making constructive use of the interests and abilities still available in order to channel the tremendous energy that often remains after nearly everything else is gone." —Mary Morrison, author of Let Evening Come
"Circles of Care is a unique addition to the literature of caregiving, an authoritative and deeply felt book that sheds light on an extraordinary range of eldercare challenges and how to meet them. The book speaks with equal understanding to the experience of the afflicted and those of the family members and caregivers who constitute the 'circle of care.' Being at the center of such a circle or within it, Cason shows us, is part of the privilege of human life." —Aaron Alterra, author of The Caregiver
"In Circles of Care , Ann Cason offers this advice to those hiring caregivers for old folks: 'Don't hire anyone unless you would enjoy being with that person yourself.' Legions of elderly respond with riotous applause." —Shambhala Sun
"Circles of Care brings us home, into a fresh, generous, and gentle approach to the care of our elders, as well as a deeper understanding of ourselves." —Branches of Light
"Circles of Care is one of the best-researched books on the most urgent issue facing older Americans and their families: recruiting and keeping qualified and sensitive caregivers for elders faced with problems ranging from physical ailments to dementia. Ann Cason's superb book uses true-to-life examples to help family members and caregivers alike work their way through this complicated maze." —William K. Wasch, National Council on Aging; author of Home Planning for Your Later Years
"Brilliant! Utterly on the mark; warm, wise, and compassionate. In Circles of Care , Ann Cason's vast experience shows: she provides a comprehensive eldercare guide that (finally!) addresses the often overlooked emotional terrain of aging and decline, giving it the gift of dignity it so rightly deserves. This is a must-read for any of us sharing life and caring at home for those we love." —Marilyn Webb, author of The Good Death; former editor-in-chief, Psychology Today