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5 Essential Reads For Caregivers

It is National Family Caregiver Month. Choosing to become a caregiver to your aging parents, a sick spouse or child, or even a friend can become a life-changing experience. While the work might be tough, and emotions may run deep, being able to see a loved one through recovery or sharing in and honoring the last days of the aging or terminally ill can be rewarding. To share in their memories, observe their strength, and help carry them when they are weak will also help nurture your own heart. These five books tell the personal stories of those who have chosen to become caregivers for a loved one. Their words will inspire readers, provide some helpful tips and insight into the lives of fellow caregivers.

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While They're Still Here by Patricia Williams

Patricia Williams unexpectedly finds herself as her parents caregiver after decades of family issues. Her parents initially resist her help but Patricia is determined to overcome their stubbornness. Truth and humor shine in this touching story. While They're Still Here is an impactful memoir that will remind readers the importance of healing old wounds and enjoying the present.

Wild and Precious Life by Deborah Ziegler

Deborah Ziegler wrote this powerful memoir for her daughter Brittany — a 29-year-old woman, diagnosed with a terminal brain tumor who chose to die with dignity. Deborah details the difficulties of wanting to care for her daughter and supporting her choice. Wild and Precious Life in an insightful read for anyone who is struggling with loss.

The Best of Us by Joyce Maynard

When Joyce Maynard met the man of her dreams in her late fifties, it seemed too good to be true. The two married despite neither of them originally wanting to remarry and had an adventure-filled first year. When Joyce's husband, Jim, is diagnosed with pancreatic cancer shortly after their first anniversary, Joyce becomes a devoted caretaker. The Best of Us teaches us how to appreciate love after those who mean the most to us are gone.

The Conscious Caregiver by Linda Abbit

Caregiving requires sacrifice — time, sleep and well-being can start to dwindle. Linda Abbit knows that when putting other's first, we tend to forget about ourselves. But it's all worth it, knowing you're caring for someone you love. The Conscious Caregiver provides helpful tips on how to care for loved ones while still loving yourself.

Now With You, Now Without by Kathryn Leigh Scott

When Kathryn's husband was diagnosed with a terminal illness, she knew she had to take advantage of the time he had left. The couple decided to spend their final months together traveling the world. After her husbands death, Kathryn continued to travel, grieving and healing along the way. This inspiring memoir reminds readers that though caregiving is difficult, it's important to value every moment.

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