"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
"Dr. Jacobs is a master storyteller who brings the realities of caring for an aging parent out of the shadows and into the light. If you find yourself in a caregiving role and want to protect and even enhance your family relationships, while also taking care of yourself, this book is a 'must read.' From sex to spirituality, Dr Jacobs addresses our most pressing questions about the inevitable stresses and strains of caregiving."--Susan H. McDaniel, PhD, Wynne Center for Family Research and Department of Family Medicine, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry
"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 and Co-Director of the Chicago Center for Family Health
"Whether you are an experienced or new family caregiver, you will recognize your dilemmas and challenges--and find valuable advice--in this book. Dr. Jacobs combines the skills of an engaging storyteller and a compassionate family therapist as he accompanies readers through the main journey and the byways of caring for an ill or disabled parent."--Carol Levine, Director, Families and Health Care Project, United Hospital Fund
Barry Jacobs builds on 20 years of clinical experience to provide a wise and informative look at family caregiving. This is not just another 'how-to' book, but explores the emotional core of the caregiving experience....Each chapter also contains thoughtful and practical responses to the questions that caregivers frequently raise. There is much that caregivers and the professionals who work with them can learn from this book."--Steven H. Zarit, PhD, Department of Human Development and Family Studies, The Pennsylvania State University
"When you feel like you just can't go on as a caregiver, Dr. Jacobs helps us avoid much of the heartache and frustration that can make caring for a loved one such a overwhelming experience. I wish I’d read it while caring for my aging parents, both with Alzheimer’s--it would have helped me feel less alone."--Jacqueline Marcell, author, Elder Rage, host, Coping With Caregiving radio show
"This book makes it clear that whatever you’re going through, you are not alone. It offers a ray of hope for those going through one of life’s most trying experiences. I recommend this valuable book to anyone involved in caring for an aging or ailing parent."--Deborah Popely, family caregiver and former hospice professional
"This book has been extremely helpful as a required text in the master's-level family therapy course I am currently teaching. Dr. Jacobs helps the reader understand the impact of caregiving on family dynamics, offering sound, practical advice that is as useful for students and practitioners as it is for family caregivers themselves."--Mia Solomon, PhD, Director, Behavioral Sciences, Bryn Mawr Family Practice Residency Program
"A poignant book that elucidates with sensitivity the calamitous effects of caring for a loved one and experiencing the many losses associated with this responsibility. Anyone can benefit from the information provided by the author as we all experience loss at times in our lives....The purpose of this book is to assist family members, in particular grown children of ailing, aging parents, and others, in identifying and following through with commitments in a way that eschews creating more family problems. It is also an excellent resource for counselors and other mental health providers to use in their practices....Jacobs's contribution to existing literature is exceptional because of his attention to emotional and informative details....His personal awareness of the topic, authentic writing style, and organization of the book make it interesting and informative."
"His Q&A approach...is perceptive without being intrusive, instructive without being dogmatic, informative without being technical, compassionate without being maudlin and focuses on problem solving without being cookie-cutter in approach."
"Rich in how to advice, the storys great depth and creativity captures the feelings and challenges often missing in other self help books. Any caregiver or professional will find this to be an excellent resource." (Book of the Week)
"Jacobs draws from his own personal background and from his vast clinical experience as a psychologist and medical family therapist working in rehabilitation medicine and primary care to give us a book that is much more than another volume of 'how-to' advice....Jacobs creates a fictional family featuring two adult daughters and a mother with cancer. The text follows their journey from diagnosis to treatment to chronic care and finally to the terminal phase of illness....Each chapter addresses a critical theme that is relevant to any caregiving experience: defining commitments, utilizing support, handling sacrifice, hope and acceptance, fantasy and reality, protecting and nurturing intimacy, sustaining the spirit, and facing the final days. The text is chock full of useful advice, and boxed summaries of key points are sprinkled throughout the narrative....Added bonuses include actual questions and answers at the end of each chapter, submitted by caregivers and loved ones....We see the rich tapestry of family strength and weakness and how such a tapestry may be rewoven by chronic and life-threatening illness. Not only is this an excellent book for caregivers, but it is also a book that should be on the shelf of every family therapist interested in family process and illness."
"Even if you have read one thousand books on caregiving or coping with parents, you should buy this book....It is a 'must read' for family psychologists because it is chock full of wise and practical advice for anyone with seriously ill, aging parents (or for anyone who has clients with seriously ill, aging parents). Moreover, this book stands apart from other volumes on caregiving in several important ways....Reads more like an engrossing novel than a self-help book about caregiving....The book is remarkably wide ranging in scope so that there is bound to be more than one topic or subtopic of interest to most family psychologists....This is an important and much needed book....This book will help professional and nonprofessional caregivers alike."
"Jacobs draws from his own personal background and from his vast clinical experience as a psychologist and medical family therapist working in rehabilitation medicine and primary care to give us a book that is much more than another volume of 'how to' advice....A text that could easily be used in family therapy and other training settings to better understand the intricacies of family dynamics and illness....Not only is this an excellent book for caregivers, but it is also a book that should be on the shelf of every family therapist interested in family process and illness."
"For anyone with the responsibility of caring for a sick or disabled parent, this clear-eyed guide will be of real assistance....Jacobs explores how to define your commitment to caregiving and recruit relatives as well as professionals to help, along with strategies for preserving your own personal life during an extended illness....Jacobs's frankness about the emotional as well as medical traps that await families dealing with serious illness, and his concrete advice on how to handle them, offers in-depth support to caregivers."
"Starred review....Wise material....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....Highly recommended."
"Jacobs has a gripping writing style and a passion for the subject that sustain the reader during even the heaviest of topics. His use of the narrative makes the book easy to follow, while creating natural places to interject advice from his extensive knowledge about the stresses of caregiving. He addresses the touchy subjects that caregivers might be ashamed or afraid to ask about, reassuring them that feelings of resentment, guilt, and isolation are normal reactions that go with the territory of caregiving."
"Guidelines, advice, and questions for the reader are interspersed with the narrative. This insightful book is an important guide for any family trying to care for a loved one."