Elderly Care

10 Authoritative Books on Elderly Care

With record numbers of Baby Boomers entering their twilight years, and higher percentages of those living longer than ever, there is a greater need than ever for people to find care for their aging parents. With advancing age often comes the need to make difficult choices due to decreasing abilities and declining health. While there is no roadmap for navigating these years, helpful books written by those who have been there can ease the strain and make the challenging times more manageable.

  1. How to Care for Aging Parents by Virginia Morris and Robert Butler: This book was originally published in 1995, and re-released in 2004. It has been a bestseller since then, winning the Books for a Better Life Award. The Washington Post called it “a compassionate guide of encyclopedic proportion” and the AARP hailed it as “an indispensable book.” Topics covered in the book include emotional, legal, financial, medical, and logistical issues in caring for the elderly. The revised publication was expanded to include housing options, alternative therapies and issues relating to Alzheimer’s disease.
  2. The Complete Eldercare Planner, Revised and Updated Edition: Where to Start, Which Questions to Ask, and How to Find Help by Joy Loverde: This is a practical guide that answers the major questions people have on this topic, including those that people should ask of professionals. It includes checklists of important action items, communication tips, action plans, and record-keeping forms. It also includes a listing of low-cost resources including helpful websites.
  3. Coping With Your Difficult Older Parent: A Guide for Stressed-Out Children by Grace Lebow and Barbara Kane: This book is like a support group in a book. It is geared toward children acting as caregivers for parents who have difficult personalities, dementia or other disorders. The authors are social workers who are the cofounders of Aging Network Services of Bethesda, Maryland.
  4. How to Say It to Seniors: Closing the Communication Gap with Our Elders by David Solie: This book was written to provide insight into the perspective of the elderly. It provides practical tools and tips to effectively communicate with the elderly with empathy and compassion.
  5. Elder Rage, or Take My Father… Please!: How to Survive Caring for Aging Parents by Jacqueline Marcell: This was the first Amazon book of the month selection based on caregiving. It contains an extensive question and answer section on specific topics like speaking with elderly parents about accepting cleaning and caregiving help, seeing a different doctor, giving up driving, attending adult day care, eating, taking medication, sleeping, bathing properly, moving to a new residence, and more.
  6. They’re Your Parents, Too!: How Siblings Can Survive Their Parents’ Aging Without Driving Each Other Crazy by Francine Russo: This book is a guide for finding common ground with siblings who have differing opinions on the subject of caring for elderly parents. It gives information, insight, and advice on coming to agreements and understandings while preserving sibling relationships.
  7. The Eldercare Handbook: Difficult Choices, Compassionate Solutions by Stella Henry: Stella Henry has 36 years of experience as a registered nurse and a nursing home administrator. She also cared for her own parents, both of whom suffered from Alzheimer’s disease. She addresses issues like the warning signs of dementia, choosing a good long-term care facility, and coping with parents who want to stay at home. She also provides guidance for the confusing worlds of the insurance, medical, and legal areas.
  8. Eldercare for Dummies by Dr. Rachel Zukerman: This book differs from the others in that it provides a little comic relief along with giving concise and relevant information about arranging for safe elder care. It also describes how to conduct a needs assessment and enhance the quality of life for loved ones.
  9. Stages of Senior Care: Your Step-by-Step Guide to Making the Best Decisions by Paul Hogan and Lori Hogan: This is a guidebook to choosing what type of senior care to seek, and when to do it. There are many options to choose from ranging from home care, assisted living and nursing homes, and it can be difficult to decide which is best. This book details the best ways to choose the appropriate type of care for aging parents.
  10. A Bittersweet Season: Caring for Our Aging Parents and Ourselves by Jane Gross: This book addresses the physical and emotional needs of the elderly and warns of the pitfalls many fall into while trying to care for their aging parents. Too many transitions to and from home, hospitals, and different facilities can be exhausting and cause a decline in wellbeing. This book gives adult children the courage and the know-how to make the right decisions from the beginning, even if they are not the easiest to make.