Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Sustenance and Hope for Caregivers of Elderly Parents by Gloria G. Barsamian

Fact: The population of 65-year-olds and over is expected to double in size within the next 25 years in the United States.

Fact: People age 85 and older now constitute the fastest-growing segment of the US population.

Fact: 50 million people find themselves caring for a family member, relative, or friend.

Thanks to modern medical technology and breakthroughs with vaccines, transplants, and pharmaceuticals, people are living longer. However, there may come a time in everyone’s life when they need some help due to illness or old age. Whether this help comes in the form of a loved one or a staff of trained medical professionals, most folks don’t want to be a burden.

“Parents oftentimes feel guilty for ‘becoming a burden’ on their grown children, and the children in turn feel guilty for feeling unprepared and resentful at having to rearrange their lives.”

Sustenance and Hope for Caregivers of Elderly Parents by Gloria G. Barsamian is a must-read for anyone looking at the possibility or the reality of caring for parents, grandparents, or even a close elderly neighbour. This book gives simple facts and solutions about how to understand, handle, and maintain a positive relationship with the care-receiver without becoming stressed out.

“The benefits of reducing stress are innumerable. With a recharged and stress-free mind, both mind and body will function more effectively. Coping skills will improve. In caregiving as in life, you have a choice—to defeat stress or to let it defeat you” (from Chapter 10, “Anxiety, Stresses, and Strains of Caregiving”).

Each chapter is designed to give better insight into the caregiver/care-receiver relationship. Gloria tells us in her book, “Caregiving takes a community, and no one, not even the care-receiver or caregiver, should be isolated. There should not be a trade-off between quality of life and quality of care. Good care must be actively pursued.”

Sustenance and Hope for Caregivers of Elderly Parents is your first step in “actively pursuing” the help you will need to effectively care for that special someone in your life. Gloria gives actual case studies, diaries, and testimonies from people living through the same emotional and physical challenges of caring for an elderly or ill person. In addition, she gives tips and new insights from patients and their caregivers and doctors, people who have “been there, done that.”

“Each situation of caretaking is unique and reveals to us, if we really listen, its own rules. In caretaking you are doing two jobs: one is taking care of someone else, and the other is taking care of yourself” (from Chapter 9, “Ourselves Rediscovered”).

Sustenance and Hope for Caregivers of Elderly Parents is available at Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, and other national retailers.

About the Author

GLORIA G. BARSAMIAN graduated from Boston University and Harvard College. She completed postgraduate work at the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology and the Boston Family Institute. For 28 years at the Lahey Clinic Medical Center, her primary interest and research focus was intergenerational issues among adult children and elderly parents.

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