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Part Guide, Part Workbook, Part Index — A ‘Complete’ Caregiver Aid

Book of the Month: April 2015

Our book selection for April helps caregivers stay organized and in control.Becoming a caregiver doesn’t have an application process. Often, there’s not even a waiting period. Rather, if a loved one is in need, then you’ll do whatever it takes to help. It may be the natural thing to do, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t challenging — being a caregiver demands big investments in time, energy, and compassion. What’s more, there is no instruction manual for navigating the personal, financial, and health decisions that come with elder care.

However, caregivers have many places they can turn to for guidance: from countless people who have gone through this journey already, to expert professionals ready to share their vast stores of specific knowledge, to a wealth of written material, both online and in print. For April, we are highlighting one such priceless aid, with a book that answers questions across a wide spectrum of practical topics and offers checklists and tools to help caregivers stay organized and in control.

Author Joy Loverde understands that the caregiver journey is seldom prepared for, and more often learn-as-you-go. For that reason, she has written The Complete Eldercare Planner to be an immediate caregiver companion — her decision-making aids and goal-setting exercises are intended to address the issues happening now, rather than in the hazy future.

Although a reader could pace through from beginning to end, this book is catalogued in a way that makes it easy to quickly hunt down specific information, almost like an index. Loverde uses numerous large-type headings to zero in on the question at hand, explains why each issue is important (or may become important) and what needs to be done to address it, and places worksheets to help caregivers collect information or get a better sense of the whole picture. The book has been revised based on reader feedback; the most recent version includes numerous Web resources, and for readers who prefer to work digitally, her worksheets are available for download online.

In all, the book spans 15 sections, including the top-priority ‘Money matters’ (chapter 6), ‘Housing’ (chapter 9), and ‘Locating documents’ (chapter 15). Other topics include facilitating communication, self-care, legal issues, health care and insurance, and other aspects of aging in place. Each chapter closes with a summary of ‘Low-cost and free resources,’ as well as a thorough ‘Action checklist’ to remind caregivers of everything that was covered in that section.

Although no one book or resource can provide all-encompassing information, caregivers may find The Complete Eldercare Planner consistently becoming their first stop. By using searchable topics and numerous thorough indexes by topic and type, Loverde makes it easy to either get the answer you’re searching for, or quickly learn where to find it.

The Complete Eldercare Planner, Revised and Updated Edition: Where to Start, Which Questions to Ask, and How to Find Help
Joy Loverde
Harmony Books
400 pages, $19.95