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6 Helpful Books for Caregivers

Suggested reading for anyone facing the challenges of caring for a loved one

10,000 Joys and 10,000 Sorrows: A Couple's Journey through Alzheimer's 
by Olivia Hoblitzelle
$16.99 paperback, $13.99 e-book

Hoblitzelle's title reflects her Buddhist leanings ("Accept everything") and accurately sums up the mix of anguish — and, surprisingly, joy — that washed over her and her husband of 35 years, Hob, as they dealt with his Alzheimer's. When the couple embarked on this final chapter of their marriage, she knew "love was the thread that would hold us no matter what." Her greatest help turned out to be Hob himself, who managed to hang on to his wry sense of humor even as Alzheimer's tightened its grip.

Takeaway tip: Accept it all: the love, the exasperation, the loneliness — even, sometimes, the unexpected satisfactions.

Visit our Health home page to find the latest information on Alzheimer's and other health conditions.

Making Toast 
by Roger Rosenblatt

$21.99 hardback, $9.99 e-book

Rosenblatt's caregiving journey was of a different sort: He and his wife moved in with, and helped care for, his three young grandchildren after his daughter died suddenly, at 38, of a rare heart condition. This understated exploration of grief, resilience and the quiet satisfactions of simply getting up every day — and making perfect toast for the people you cherish — is moving and inspiring. "I've led a charmed life," Rosenblatt reflects. "I have not been a long-distance runner, and now I need to confront the long haul." Without quite realizing it, he does exactly that. (The author's meditation on grief — and coming to terms with loss — continues in Kayak Morning: Reflections on Love, Grief, and Small Boats, published in January.)

Takeaway tip: Get up each day and do what needs to be done. Over time, something like grace will find you.

Next: AARP's complete caregiving guide. »

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Trish Hughes Kreis is caring for her brother, Robert, who suffers from seizures. Find out how she balances caregiving with her other responsibilities. Watch.

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