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The Emotional Survival Guide for Caregivers


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Table of Contents

1. First Days
2. Defining Commitments
3. Utilizing Support
4. Handling Sacrifice
5. Weighing Hope and Acceptance, Fantasy and Reality
6. Fostering Awareness and Flexibility
7. Protecting Intimacy
8. Sustaining the Spirit
9. Last Days
Epilogue: Caregiving's Aftermath

About the Author

Barry J. Jacobs, PsyD, works with couples and families coping with serious health problems. He has faculty appointments at Temple University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Widener University, and is the Director of Behavioral Sciences for the Crozer-Keystone Family Medicine Residency Program in Springfield, Pennsylvania. He is also a widely published journalist who has written extensively for The Village Voice and other publications. Currently, he writes an advice column for Take Care!, the quarterly newsletter of the National Family Caregivers Association and edits the In Sickness & Health column for the journal Families, Systems & Health. He lives with his wife and their two children in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania.


Jacobs, who works with couples and families coping with serious health problems, shows readers how to help a seriously ill loved one while taking care to limit the debilitating effects of caregiving on the family. After sharing a poignant, personal account about his own father, Jacobs organizes his wise material around the story of a family that represents a composite of families he has helped in the past: two sisters and their cancer-ridden mother. An introductory chapter offers research findings and clinical anecdotes, and subsequent chapters follow the exemplary family through time as they cope with such things as medical treatments, misunderstandings with the treating professionals, and the vicissitudes of the disease. A collection of questions and answers explores different facets of the caregiving task and offers specific tips and strategies for success. The resources section lists a variety of organizations, publications, and web sites. With the book's focus on various life-threatening diseases, including Alzheimer's, this title nicely supplements Nancy L. Mace and Peter V. Rabins's The 36-Hour Day. Highly recommended for university libraries supporting the helping professions and for larger public libraries.-Dale Farris, Groves, TX Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

'I've known Barry Jacobs for many years, but not until I read the prologue to this book did I realize that as a child he had been part of a caregiving family. I should have known, though - only someone who has 'walked in the shoes' could have written such a compassionate and simultaneously helpful book. It reads like a novel but also provides really good, straightforward, worthwhile advice. This is a 'must read' for every family caregiver.' "- Suzanne Mintz, President and Cofounder, National Family Caregivers Association"" " 'This is a beautifully written, invaluable, practical guide for families facing serious illness or disability. This unique and truly masterful book combines the wisdom of Dr. Jacobs's extensive professional expertise with his moving personal story of parental illness and loss. Following one family's journey with illness, the book addresses all the tough issues while providing a powerful model for resilience and the personal rewards that can come with caregiving. This superb book is a 'must' for family caregivers and healthcare professionals. I will strongly recommend it to my patients and their families.' "- John S. Rolland, MD, Department of Psychiatry, University of Chicago "

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