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Cruising through Caregiving: Reducing the Stress of Caring for Your Loved One

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Caregiving is no vacation, but you can cruise more smoothly through it! If you’re facing the daunting reality that you’re about to become a caregiver—whether you planned for it or not—Cruising through Caregiving is the down-to-earth and authoritative answer you need. Jennifer FitzPatrick has been through nearly every possible scenario on the caregiving spectrum, both profes Caregiving is no vacation, but you can cruise more smoothly through it! If you’re facing the daunting reality that you’re about to become a caregiver—whether you planned for it or not—Cruising through Caregiving is the down-to-earth and authoritative answer you need. Jennifer FitzPatrick has been through nearly every possible scenario on the caregiving spectrum, both professionally and personally, and she expertly shows you how to be a responsible, loving caregiver without being overcome by guilt, exhaustion, or worry. It doesn’t matter whether you have advantages such as money or an extended family. You don’t have to passively just let things happen. No matter your particular situation, FitzPatrick has a practical and thoughtful solution to deal with it. She’ll help you discover and harness powers you don’t even know you have—from getting other family members to participate in caregiving to navigating a loved one’s finances, living setting, or declining physical and mental health conditions. Advice and resources from FitzPatrick and twenty-four other professionals show how to give your loved one the best quality of life possible without sacrificing your own life, health, career, relationships, or financial stability.


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Caregiving is no vacation, but you can cruise more smoothly through it! If you’re facing the daunting reality that you’re about to become a caregiver—whether you planned for it or not—Cruising through Caregiving is the down-to-earth and authoritative answer you need. Jennifer FitzPatrick has been through nearly every possible scenario on the caregiving spectrum, both profes Caregiving is no vacation, but you can cruise more smoothly through it! If you’re facing the daunting reality that you’re about to become a caregiver—whether you planned for it or not—Cruising through Caregiving is the down-to-earth and authoritative answer you need. Jennifer FitzPatrick has been through nearly every possible scenario on the caregiving spectrum, both professionally and personally, and she expertly shows you how to be a responsible, loving caregiver without being overcome by guilt, exhaustion, or worry. It doesn’t matter whether you have advantages such as money or an extended family. You don’t have to passively just let things happen. No matter your particular situation, FitzPatrick has a practical and thoughtful solution to deal with it. She’ll help you discover and harness powers you don’t even know you have—from getting other family members to participate in caregiving to navigating a loved one’s finances, living setting, or declining physical and mental health conditions. Advice and resources from FitzPatrick and twenty-four other professionals show how to give your loved one the best quality of life possible without sacrificing your own life, health, career, relationships, or financial stability.

58 review for Cruising through Caregiving: Reducing the Stress of Caring for Your Loved One

  1. 4 out of 5

    Liz

    I was offered an advance copy of this book at the perfect time. My 91 year old father fell and broke his hip almost two months ago. As I write this, he is still in rehab. But I am already having to learn the art of balancing my time with him against the rest of my life, navigating the rules of Medicare and getting a crash course in my parents’ finances. I had to laugh at the opening of chapter one. Fitzpatrick realistically notes that if you are reading this book, you're probably already a careg I was offered an advance copy of this book at the perfect time. My 91 year old father fell and broke his hip almost two months ago. As I write this, he is still in rehab. But I am already having to learn the art of balancing my time with him against the rest of my life, navigating the rules of Medicare and getting a crash course in my parents’ finances. I had to laugh at the opening of chapter one. Fitzpatrick realistically notes that if you are reading this book, you're probably already a caregiver because no one picks up a book like this for fun or in advance. Fitzpatrick works to put you at ease. She explains that it's the rare person who feels comfortable and totally in control going into caregiving. I loved that she spells out the pros and cons of different decisions, such as “The Promise”. This books is much more about the caregiver’s mental health and finding balance than it is about practical matters. As she says ”caregiving can affect so many aspects of a person’s life physically, emotionally and financially that it is impossible to predict them all.” She hits the nail on the head when she says so many caregivers go in thinking it's a short term issue when in fact, it ends up being a long term one and balance really needs to be a priority. The book raises some very important issues, such as “helicopter caregiving” that really made me think. Because it is easier to just takes over some things entirely, like finances. But my father was always so into numbers and investments, so was this fair to him? Another important issue is boundaries. Just because you want something doesn't give you the right to deny the boundaries set by others. This book does a great job of explaining the emotional issues one encounters with caregiving. It also provides chapters on issues like Medicare, hospice or Alzheimer’s and gives you more detailed resources for them. My thanks to netgalley and Greenleaf Book Group for an advance copy of this book.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Monnie

    Are you a caregiver for a relative, perhaps an elderly parent? Might that a possibility in upcoming years? Do you want to take steps now to prepare for your own future so no one will have to fill that role when you no longer can care for yourself? If any of these scenarios set off alarm bells in your head, this book is an important tool. If they don't, it's probably even more important. In the interest of full disclosure, I requested (and received, thank you) an advance copy in exchange for an ho Are you a caregiver for a relative, perhaps an elderly parent? Might that a possibility in upcoming years? Do you want to take steps now to prepare for your own future so no one will have to fill that role when you no longer can care for yourself? If any of these scenarios set off alarm bells in your head, this book is an important tool. If they don't, it's probably even more important. In the interest of full disclosure, I requested (and received, thank you) an advance copy in exchange for an honest review because I'm already involved in senior health issues, albeit from a different perspective. Since I retired from going to a workplace every day back in 2002, I've been a state-certified volunteer long-term care ombudsman for Ohio. Each week, I visit my assigned facility to talk with residents and help make sure their rights are being upheld (and, if not, do what I can, together with the local Area Agency on Aging, to facilitate positive change). Any book that deals with the topic of long-term care, then, is of great interest to me - not just because I'm always eager to learn but because, if it's well done, I can recommend it to others who may need it. And recommend it I most certainly do. The goal, the author says, is to make readers "feel more powerful" and let them know they may have many options. It shows caregivers ways to save time, money and energy and have a personal life. "Caregiving is like a muscle that can be developed and strengthened," the author writes, and her book is designed to help with that. Following a "boating" theme, she tackles really tough issues such as "promises" we may make (think assuring your mother you'll never, ever put her in a nursing home) to whether it's a good idea to quit your job and take over full-time care of a loved one (and how to deal with it if that's what your loved one expects you to do). Best of all, it's not just platitudes and lip service; options are presented for each topic, and chapters include "course corrections," or steps to take if you're already halfway down the wrong path. Everywhere are examples, checklists, worksheets and questions to answer that will help you make the best decisions for yourself and for (and with) your loved ones. Still other chapters focus on expectations and realities of the health-care system (i.e., Medicare and Medicaid), the ramifications of dementia and - not insignificantly - what you need to do now to prepare for the time you may need some type of care yourself. Even if you're not performing a direct caregiving function - or one of your loved ones already is in a long-term care facility - there's plenty of good information here for you. I'm always surprised, for instance, when a resident of "my"nursing home - or someone in their family who's visiting and is concerned about some issue - tells me he or she had no idea the local Area on Aging even exists, much less what services it provides. At the end of the book is a comprehensive list of resources; depending on where you are on the caregiver continuum, you can look them up immediately or stash them away for future consultation.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Margaret

    I have been a primary caregiver twice years ago and both times I had to "wing it"! When I saw this book as a give-away on Goodreads Firstreads I applied for it, because chances are I will be a caregiver again as my husband is older than I am. When I won the book and started reading it I was very disappointed that I didn't have access to it years ago! I am keeping my copy but will not hesitate to buy copies for friends that need it. Being a caregiver is hard work and you need all the help you can I have been a primary caregiver twice years ago and both times I had to "wing it"! When I saw this book as a give-away on Goodreads Firstreads I applied for it, because chances are I will be a caregiver again as my husband is older than I am. When I won the book and started reading it I was very disappointed that I didn't have access to it years ago! I am keeping my copy but will not hesitate to buy copies for friends that need it. Being a caregiver is hard work and you need all the help you can get!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Writing

    Review forthcoming

  5. 4 out of 5

    Maria Ryan

    A Fantastically Rich and Resourced Guide to Elder Caregiving. I’ll admit I was intrigued when this book came across my queue however I hesitated because I didn’t really want to read it. I have my own preconceived notions about caregiving, many of them negative. Also, since I am not a caregiver myself and do not plan on becoming one, why did I need to read this book? As it turns out, I am glad I did. FitzPatrick, a gerontologist with over twenty years’ experience, has a way of breaking down caregi A Fantastically Rich and Resourced Guide to Elder Caregiving. I’ll admit I was intrigued when this book came across my queue however I hesitated because I didn’t really want to read it. I have my own preconceived notions about caregiving, many of them negative. Also, since I am not a caregiver myself and do not plan on becoming one, why did I need to read this book? As it turns out, I am glad I did. FitzPatrick, a gerontologist with over twenty years’ experience, has a way of breaking down caregiving, defining its roles, and addressing all the parts that no one cares to discuss. Her impartiality regarding all the nuances of human emotion and the variety of ways they can play out in the pressure charged world of caregiving cannot be overstated. I highly recommend the book for this reason alone. But there is more, her list of resources is second to none and just knowing that this vast array is available is enough to want to own this book. All of these resources are available in one handy place and could be used to help another lost in the uncharted waters of elder caregiving. In a care giving scenario, this guide will be referred back to over and over again. The nautical comparisons were silly but effective. The only chapter that I wasn’t thrilled about was the taking care of yourself advice towards the end of the book. Much of her advice is based on worn out and archaic advice regarding exercise and nutrition and would have best been left out. She speaks in generalities and offers basic guidelines however this further hurts her lack of credibility in these areas. Overall, this guide will have positive far reaching effects for primary, secondary and tertiary caregivers and all those whose lives they touch. BRB Rating: Own It

  6. 5 out of 5

    Anne

    Thank you to Green Leaf Book Group and Net Galley for providing me an advanced galley copy of this title in exchange for an impartial review. Many people will find themselves as a caregiver for a loved one at some time in their life. Cruising through Caregiving: Reducing the Stress of Caring for Your Loved One by Jennifer L. Fitzpatrick provides help and guidance for those of us who are, or may become, caregivers. One of the things Fitzpatrick points out is that it is not only a person who takes Thank you to Green Leaf Book Group and Net Galley for providing me an advanced galley copy of this title in exchange for an impartial review. Many people will find themselves as a caregiver for a loved one at some time in their life. Cruising through Caregiving: Reducing the Stress of Caring for Your Loved One by Jennifer L. Fitzpatrick provides help and guidance for those of us who are, or may become, caregivers. One of the things Fitzpatrick points out is that it is not only a person who takes care of the day-to-day tasks who qualifies as a caregiver. Multiple people can and often do share those duties, and defining the necessary tasks helps clarify roles for family members and loved ones. Fitzpatrick offers practical ways for the caregiver to find balance in their life so that they do not become overwhelmed and sacrifice their own health in the process. This book will prove invaluable to so many of us who are thrust into this role and have no idea where to get help.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Renee'

    Comforting, affirming guide for those in the position of caregiver for a friend or loved one. Chapters cover: types of caregiving; promises made to the receiver and how to handle them; care for self; when to ask for help; living and working arrangements among others. A short section addressess memory loss. Very informative and encouraging.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Lorilin

    Author FitzPatrick is very clear about what she hopes readers will get from this book. Cruising through Caregiving should help you "save money, energy, and time, so that you can have an improved caregiving experience." And, wow, she really delivers the goods for making that happen. The book is divided into fifteen chapters. Topics include: (*) Defining the different types of caregivers (primary, secondary, and tertiary) (*) Respecting your older loved one's autonomy and preferences (*) Recognizing Author FitzPatrick is very clear about what she hopes readers will get from this book. Cruising through Caregiving should help you "save money, energy, and time, so that you can have an improved caregiving experience." And, wow, she really delivers the goods for making that happen. The book is divided into fifteen chapters. Topics include: (*) Defining the different types of caregivers (primary, secondary, and tertiary) (*) Respecting your older loved one's autonomy and preferences (*) Recognizing the needs, desires, and limitations of the whole caregiving crew (*) Deciding what type of care is best for your loved one AND his or her caregivers (*) Learning how to take care of yourself while caregiving (*) Recognizing symptoms of burnout, especially when you've decided--consciously or not--to become the martyr in the caregiving situation (*) Navigating the senior care system (*) Accepting the financial cost of caregiving (*) Utilizing your loved one's primary care doctor in the best way--and knowing when you need to see a specialist (*) Taking care of a loved one with dementia (*) Accepting that your older loved one will die (*) Utilizing hospice in the most advantageous way (*) Learning how to set your own self up for a positive experience as you age Throughout the book, FitzPatrick's tone is conversational, down-to-earth, and refreshingly straightforward. Her advice is practical and very clearly taken from real life experiences. What I love most about Cruising through Caregiving, though, is that it is so incredibly affirming to the caregiver. FitzPatrick repeats again and again that your caregiving experience shouldn't drain everything from you--not money, energy, or time. Taking care of a loved one is an important--and unavoidably stressful--job, but, at the end of the day, she says, "you deserve to come out of the caregiving experience emotionally, physically, and financially healthy." There is no shaming or judgment in the book. FitzPatrick talks about all options in an open way, plus she gives specific resources (with working links in the kindle version) that help provide answers and guidance. There is simply a wealth of information in this book, and I learned so much. I'll add one last thing. If you are in a situation where you or your older loved one has received a diagnosis for a serious condition, I would also recommend reading The Patient's Playbook: How to Save Your Life and the Lives of Those You Love by Leslie D. Michelson. It's another no-nonsense guide to finding the best care possible. ARC provided by publisher through Net Galley. See more of my reviews at www.BugBugBooks.com.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Roxanne

    This is a Goodreads win review. The title of this book irks me a bit. I am providing care for my third elderly person and and I am 16 into doing caregiving. It is no cruise for sure. The book gives good information I found out the hard way. One thing I did learn is get away when you can so you do not tear all of your hair out.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Barbara

    Tips for surviving the (usually) unchosen life of caregiving.

  11. 5 out of 5

    The Cobbler's Daughter

    I rarely read books like this but this book was a suggested read for me and I grabbed it. It's a quick read to a very serious situation that many people are faced with today. Caring for anyone is always difficult but caring for those that are elderly is especially hard. While I'm what you'd called the middle generation, I have young children and an older parent, I know my time to help out will be here sooner, rather than later. Although, many years ago my mother did suffer a health scare, I have I rarely read books like this but this book was a suggested read for me and I grabbed it. It's a quick read to a very serious situation that many people are faced with today. Caring for anyone is always difficult but caring for those that are elderly is especially hard. While I'm what you'd called the middle generation, I have young children and an older parent, I know my time to help out will be here sooner, rather than later. Although, many years ago my mother did suffer a health scare, I have always had siblings to help out. However, with growing children, funds are extremely tight right now and this book helps you navigate through whatever resources are available to you. I highly recommend this book!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Nancy

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This recent publication contains some excellent suggestions for primary and secondary caregivers but would have been more impactful is condensed into fifty concise pages. The axiom of tell them what you're going to tell, tell it, summarize what you just told them was in full force in this book - frequently just making it feel like it was filling pages. I've been in the caregiver role both primary and secondary and I believe the advice shared is true and worthwhile but the delivery of that info w This recent publication contains some excellent suggestions for primary and secondary caregivers but would have been more impactful is condensed into fifty concise pages. The axiom of tell them what you're going to tell, tell it, summarize what you just told them was in full force in this book - frequently just making it feel like it was filling pages. I've been in the caregiver role both primary and secondary and I believe the advice shared is true and worthwhile but the delivery of that info was tedious. In the end I felt that this was probably published to enhance income from the author's speaking circuit.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Taylor Jennifer Conley

    I think everyone should read this book. It is so well written and can help anyone on their journey as a caregiver. Every caregiver needs guidance and Cruising through Caregiving is the book to turn too no matter what stage you are in.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Chantel

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer FitzPatrick

  16. 4 out of 5

    Kerry

  17. 5 out of 5

    Raven

  18. 4 out of 5

    Dana

  19. 5 out of 5

    Tucker

  20. 4 out of 5

    Catherine

  21. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

  22. 4 out of 5

    Barb

  23. 4 out of 5

    Phyllis Eledge

  24. 4 out of 5

    Judith A. Slaughter

  25. 5 out of 5

    Diana

  26. 4 out of 5

    Courtney Howell

  27. 4 out of 5

    Marti

  28. 5 out of 5

    Christina Walsh

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    I'm biased... my friend is the author. Nonetheless, this book is an easy to read guide to things I have been thinking about and need to be thinking about as my parents and grandparents age. I'm biased... my friend is the author. Nonetheless, this book is an easy to read guide to things I have been thinking about and need to be thinking about as my parents and grandparents age.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Sue

  31. 4 out of 5

    Tima

  32. 5 out of 5

    Yvette

  33. 4 out of 5

    Cecilia Dunbar Hernandez

  34. 4 out of 5

    Brenda Knight

  35. 4 out of 5

    Frederick Rotzien

  36. 4 out of 5

    Rachella Baker

  37. 5 out of 5

    E. R.

  38. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl Bradley

  39. 4 out of 5

    Mary A.

  40. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen Hohler

  41. 5 out of 5

    Phyllis Barlow

  42. 4 out of 5

    Amy

  43. 5 out of 5

    Stacia Chappell

  44. 5 out of 5

    Ms. Reader

  45. 4 out of 5

    Leah

  46. 5 out of 5

    Dawn Obrien

  47. 4 out of 5

    Inna

  48. 5 out of 5

    V

  49. 4 out of 5

    Pam Mooney

  50. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

  51. 5 out of 5

    Brooke

  52. 4 out of 5

    Vickie

  53. 4 out of 5

    Kathy Heare Watts

  54. 5 out of 5

    LLL Reads

  55. 5 out of 5

    Ted

  56. 4 out of 5

    Pamela Miller

  57. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Taylor-Cruz

  58. 4 out of 5

    Dara

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