A manual for professionals, friends, and families responsible for the care of aging or disabled individuals.
In this debut health book, Davis draws on her decades of experience as a professional health aide, and years as the primary caregiver for relatives, to guide the reader through the basics of providing in-home care for adults. The book is divided into condition-specific chapters for easy reference, although much of the information applies to patients in all situations. Davis covers practical tips, including how to secure a bib at mealtime and the use of a slider board for moving a patient between a bed and a wheelchair, as well as harder-to-define topics, such as providing emotional support to patients and the particular challenges faced by those caring for people with dementia (“Be aware of clients’ body movements, actions, and the way they speak, as this is a clue to what is happening in their thoughts”). Davis shares anecdotes from her career as she explains why patients should never have access to the caregiver’s personal property or what may cause a patient to fall, and how the vagaries of aging and illness have an effect on the helper as well as on the patient. The book also addresses strategies for maintaining the caregiver’s physical and mental health in a stressful job, and concludes with a series of recommended meditations and affirmations. While the book could benefit from thorough proofreading (“fourty”; “People hate to admit that he or she need help”; “a Chaplin from hospice”), it offers valuable advice for those performing a challenging but necessary task, moving concisely through large amounts of information. Readers looking for a guide to both the spiritual and the practical sides of the caregiver’s role will find that Davis provides a solid introduction to the topic and a useful reference for everything from changing a patient’s clothes to adding fiber to the meals of reluctant eaters.
A brief but thorough introduction to the basics of in-home caregiving, addressing both practical and spiritual topics.