Graying with Grace
Like what you see? Give us a share!

Helpful Books About Managing Stress for Caregivers of Elderly Parents

books about managing stress for caregivers

Caring for an elderly family member is a rewarding experience. But, caregiving is also a source of stress, frustration, and even depression. Caregivers often run the full range of emotions in a single day. It is important though for caregivers to know they are not alone. They need to understand that stress is a normal part of the process and that management of stress is necessary to prevent burnout. To help, here is a list of helpful books about managing stress for caregivers. Many of these books were written by people with personal care giving experience that stressed out caregivers will appreciate and benefit from reading.

Soul Care for Caregivers: How to Help Yourself While Helping Others

About the Author: Susanne West

Susanne West is an awarded educator, Psychology Professor, life coach, and teaches specialty hypnotherapy programs. She also facilitates Soul Care for Caregivers workshops and support groups. She has personally experienced caregiving with a daughter who has Ankylosing Spondylitis and Crohn's disease. Her writing and work focuses on integrative spiritual teachings.

How this book is helpful:

​Susanne brings a unique perspective that is helpful to caregivers of elderly parents and professional caregivers alike. She writes as an educator, a support group facilitator, AND as a caregiver herself. This book includes her own personal stories and the tools she learned to cope with the stress of care giving. Be warned. though. If you are looking for a book to commiserate with you on your feelings this is not it. Be prepared to answer questions and get to a real internal understanding of your emotions and thoughts about care giving. After gaining this understanding, Susanne lays out ways to bring peace to your life by learning to care for yourself while caring for others at the same time.

Caring for a Loved One with Dementia: A Mindfulness-Based Guide for Reducing Stress and Making the Best of Your Journey Together

About the Author: Marguerite Manteau-Rao, LCSW

Marguerite  is a licensed clinical social worker, CEO of the Presence Care Project, Huffington Post contributor and champion in the field of dementia care. She is also the founder of the Mindfulness-Based Dementia Care (MBCC) program and the software company Neurocern. Her important work in the area of dementia care came from being a long-distance caregiver for her mother.

How this book is helpful:

This book teaches the therapeutic technique of "mindfulness" as a coping mechanism. defines mindfulness as "the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us." Because of the emotional and physical stresses that can come out of a dementia care situation, it is easy to let emotions carry the caregiver away. However, by becoming mindful of the situation and fully present in the moment, caregivers of elderly parents can better manage their stress, be more at ease in the moment and improve their reactions to dementia behaviors. Pick it up if you are looking to internally manage the stress of care giving and increase your compassion.

Loving Someone Who Has Dementia: How to Find Hope while Coping with Stress and Grief

About the Author: Pauline Boss, Ph.D.

Pauline Boss is a Ph.D. in Child Development and Family Studies and is a emeritus professor at the University of Minnesota. She is known for her groundbreaking research into the theory of ambiguous loss.  In 2004, she won a Humanitarian Award for her work with families who lost loved ones on 9/11. Learn more about Pauline and the ambiguous loss theory at her website.

How this book is helpful:

​This book applies Pauline's theory of ambiguous loss to the area of dementia care. Caring for a loved one with dementia is caring for someone who is present sometimes but gone other times. The back and forth gain and loss creates this ambiguity in dementia care giving. This is difficult to cope with and creates caregiver stress. Understanding this theory and applying it to your care giving situation will bring peace and acceptance to the situation. This book is easy to read and straight forward yet insightful and deeply personal. It is also the type of book you will refer back to often. So, get a paper copy and have a highlighter ready. 

The Detoxing of Caregivers: Key Tips for Survival, Strength and Patience

About the Author: L.T. Force Ph.D.

Dr. Force is a professor of psychology at Mount Saint Mary College and a gerontologist with more than 30 years of experience working with aging and disabled patients. He is also the the founder and CEO of AgePlan, a national advocacy and training organization​in the field of aging, disability, and lifespan development. Personally, he served as caregiver to his mother and other elderly family members.

How this book is helpful:

The Detoxing of Caregivers is an easy, quick read but also deeply helpful and insightful.​ Dr. Force shares his personal experiences in a caregiver role in addition to what he has learned from working with caregivers in 30 plus years of experience as a researcher and educator. It is filled with practical tips for caregivers on taking care of themselves and not getting lost in the caregiver role. If you want to feel like you are not alone in your emotions and feelings, this is the book for you. This book offers helpful advice for managing stress for caregivers of elderly parents and also for those caring for the physically and developmentally disabled.

Self-Care for Caregivers: A Twelve Step Approach

About the Author: Pat Samples, Diane Larsen, & Marvin Larsen

​Pat Samples has a Master's Degree in Human Development and is a prolific writer specializing int he areas of health, aging, human behavior, addiction, and codependency. She has written hundred of magazine and newspaper articles on these subjects and also has workshops for family and professional caregivers. Learn more about Pat at her personal website and blog.

How this book is helpful:

This book approaches the process of managing stress for caregivers by applying the Twelve Steps. Yes, the same famous Twelve Steps used by Alcoholics Anonymous and other support groups. Pat and her co-authors teach ways to cope and manage stress through hints, tips, exercises, and stories of their persona caregiver experiences. A main focus of the book is learning to maintain control of the care giving relationship, setting boundaries, and even learning to say "no" without feeling guilty. It also stresses that to properly take care of another person, you must first be able to take care of yourself.

A Promise Kept Inspirational Guide for Family Caregivers

About the Author: Ms Bonita Bandaries

Bonita has worked as an award-winning educator in the roles of counselor, teacher, and writing consultant. As an author and inspirational speaker, she promotes family value and Christian faith. She wrote about her personal experience as a full time caregiver for her mother in A Promise Kept. She currently lives in Louisiana where she hosts an annual Celebrating Family Caregivers' event. She can be contacted at her website.

How this book is helpful:

​Bonita teaches the reader how to reduce their caregiver stress by taking moments of quiet reflection throughout the day. Her book encourages caregivers to read positive materials like affirmations and scriptures, to recite these positive thoughts and scriptures out loud, and to write down feelings and stories. These are all ways to feel stronger mentally and physically and to manage the stress of care giving. Those who enjoy times of reflection and using journals will enjoy the positivity and respite that comes from reading this book and applying its ideas.

Take Your Oxygen First: Protecting Your Health and Happiness While Caring for a Loved One with Memory Loss

About the Author: Leeza Gibbons, James Huysman PsyD LCSW, Rosemary DeAngelis Laird MD

Leeza Gibbons is an Emmy award-winning TV Host and personality best known for hosting Entertainment Tonight. She was also a past winner of Celebrity Apprentice. After caring for her own mother with Alzheimer's, she founded the Leeza Gibbons Memory Foundation which offers free services for family caregivers through Leeza's Care Connection.

How this book is helpful:

This book opens with the deeply personal story of Leeza Gibbons and her family and their experiences as caretakers to her mother Jean.​ They discuss their feelings and emotions as they watched her decline, eventually having to go to a dementia unit of a nursing home. The family offers candid, yet helpful, advice on how caregivers should take care of themselves as well during this process. This advice ranges from exercises to keep the caregiver physically strong to managing the stress caregivers feel along with guilt and grief.

Caregiver Triumphant: How to overcome stress and thrive in your role as a family caregiver

About the Author: Vena Stewart-Semprie (Author)

​Vena left a modest upbringing in the Caribbean to come to Canada in 1967. There, she worked in colleges, universities, and even the Toronto Police Service. During this time she also cared for 4 children and her husband who was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. This book is about this experience.

How this book is helpful:

This book is inspired by the personal experiences that Vena has caring for her husband who has had multiple sclerosis for over 23 years.​ Caring for one person for so long has given her unique perspective on the caregiving relationship and managing the stress that comes with it. She openly shares lessons she has learned along the way along with scriptures and helpful advice you will use daily. It is also a quick read that is easy to process and understand.

Surviving the STRESS of Your Parents' Old Age: How to Stay Organized, Loving, and Sane While Caring for Them

About the Author: Nan McAdam (Author)

​Nan McAdam had a successful career managing , training, and coaching financial sales teams. Her role changed to that of family caregiver as her parents became older and developed health problems. She also helped 5 other elderly loved ones. These experiences and a personal dedication to continued self improvement lead to the writing of this book. She also has an elder care blog with more tips and advice.

How this book is helpful:

​This book is filled with personal, raw, and sometimes gritty retellings of Nan's personal experiences in caregiving. As you read, you take a journey with Nan and learn better ways to manage your stress as a caregiver. She shows you step-by-step the decisions she faced and the research she used to make decisions. Using humor as well, the book offers specific dos and don'ts for certain caregiving situations. It is a practical resource that every family caregiver should read whether you are caring for elderly parents, a spouse, or a special needs child.

Care, Grieve, Grow: Caring For Your Aging Parents While Caring for Yourself

About the Author: Karen Fazio MSG

Karen is a certified holistic life coach and focuses on managing stress, grief, and chronic illnesses. ​She got involved in the home care business after caring for elderly parents and also earned a master degree in gerontology. She now teaches stress management, an aging services consultant for the Council on Aging, and leads corporate seminars for family caregivers. You can learn more about Karen on her website

How this book is helpful:

​Combining a professional education and personal caregiving experience, Karen offers encouragement and practical advice for managing the stress of being a family caregiver. She is honest about her relationship with her parents and explains how family dynamics affect the caregiving process and stress. The book helps caregivers make the needed decisions about their parents while also teaching the caregiver how to take care of their self along the way. It is Karen's belief that caregivers can grow through this process and gain a better understanding of who they really are. 

I hope you found this list of books about managing stress for caregivers helpful. Let me know which book you chose and if it helped you by leaving a comment below!

Leave a Comment: