WHO WILL TAKE CARE OF YOUR PARENTS?
FIRST REVIEWS IN!
Book Review: 'Passages In Caregiving' by Gail Sheehy
-- by Anne Colby, LA Times, May 22, 2010
Caring for a loved one with a chronic illness -- a parent, partner, sibling or child -- is a role no one aspires to but many of us will take on.
In her superb new book, "Passages in Caregiving," Gail Sheehy writes that someone is serving as an unpaid family caregiver in almost one-third of American households. It's a job that lasts an average of five years.....
To read the complete review on The LA Times website please click here.
A Sensitive Look at Caring For an Aging Family Member
Review by Alison Hood, Bookpage.com (Library Journal), May 2010
Since publishing her groundbreaking book "Passages" in 1976, Gail Sheehy has trained her keen eye upon diverse facets of modern American culture and life: everything from war and politics to prostitution and menopause. Now she has taken on caregiving - an exploding social phenomenon that currently affects the lives of nearly 50 million American adults.
The call came one day when Sheehy was sitting in a beauty salon. It was about her husband, Clay. It was about cancer. In the ensuing weeks, her life changed radically: "I had a new role. Family caregiver." Caring for an elder, once-independent adult - whether a parent, life partner, relative or friend- can be a heartbreaking and backbreaking full-time job, and most often one without pay. Sheehy was her husband's primary caregiver for the last 17 years of his life, a process she believes is a journey that "opens up possibilities for true intimacy and reconnection at the deepest level."
As we have come to expect from Sheehy, "Passages in Caregiving" is well and thoroughly researched, and the straight-talking narrative is a blend of trenchant yet sensitive prose, fact, story and strategy. Sheehy writes from her own "raw experience' of caregiving, weaving her personal story throughout, along with the stories of other families. She likens the caregiving journey to navigating the twists in a labyrinth, a device that, unlike the confounding riddle of a maze, "orders chaos." She names eight major turnings around the labyrinth, from "shock and mobilization" through to "the long goodbye," illustrates them with moving and apt personal stories, then offers practical resources and empowering strategies for coping with their challenges. There is, Sheehy says, "life after caregiving," and "Passages in Caregiving" is a crucial roadmap to that new life.