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Passages in caregiving : turning chaos into confidence
Sheehy, Gail.
Adult Nonfiction RA645.3 .S49 2010

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Like the 44 million other Americans caring for an ill or elderly person in their homes, prolific writer Sheehy looked after her late husband Clay Felker while he battled cancer for more than a decade. Having already chronicled almost every stage in baby boomer life (most notably in 1976's Passages), Sheehy offers an empathetic, well-researched guide to an unfamiliar, often scary role to which boomers are being initiated, outlining eight stages of caregiving from "Shock and Mobilization" to "The Long Good-Bye." Along with doctors and nurses, home caregivers have become the backbone of the (admittedly broken) U.S. health-care system, and an increasingly important part of a patient's decision-making team. As such, Sheehy contends, caregivers are in desperate need of knowledge and support, and this resourceful manifesto provides it, including practical steps to take, strategies for each point of care, likely obstacles for both patient and caregiver, and a lucid explanation of what's to come: "My intention is to illuminate the challenges and rewards inherent in the caregiving passage-to identify universal patterns in the chaos and give the journey a form that makes sense." Sheehy achieves her goal ably, providing a steady beacon during a time of great sadness and overwhelming responsibility. (May) Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.

From Library Journal:

Throughout her career, celebrity author Sheehy (Passages) has helped fellow boomers figure out how to live their lives. Now she gives them some advice about how to die and how to help loved ones in this final passage. One-third autobiography, one-third narrative about how families cope, and one-third suggested resources, her latest work describes the 17 years that she and her husband, journalist Clay Felker, dealt with cancer and the disabilities and discomforts caused by its treatment. She delves little into social policy but says two very important things: palliative care, not just hospice, must become a larger part of our thinking, and baby boomers should start planning for their aging because their numbers and inevitable needs will overwhelm our formal systems of care. Verdict Sheehy's family is not the norm, and they were able to call on financial and social resources few families have; this limits the book's applicability but makes for a much better read. Oddly, there is not one word of epilog about Sheehy's adaptation to life without Clay-will this be our next "passage" with her? [See Prepub Alert, LJ 1/10, 150,000-copy first printing; ebook ISBN 978-0-06-199352-7].-Fran Mentch, Cleveland State Univ. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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