My Parent's Keeper


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The Guilt, Grief, Guesswork, and Unexpected Gifts of Caregiving

Jody Gastfriend; Foreword by Patrick J. Kennedy

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When it comes time to provide care for those who once cared for us, where can we turn? This book offers practical guidance for a broad range of caregiving situations when family caregivers assume their new role.
  • Uses the latest research and draws on case histories and interviews.
  • Is a resource as well as a source of inspiration, with a blend of powerful stories and practical advice.
  • Helps caregivers cope with numerous challenges, including parents who need but refuse help; siblings who don’t get along; the complexity of healthcare systems; financial issues; juggling work and caregiving; the use of technology; the power of connecting with a loved one who has dementia; and realizing the benefits amid the burdens of caregiving.

Jody Gastfriend has been a social worker for more than thirty years and is vice president of senior care for, the world’s largest online marketplace for finding and managing family care.

"Jody Gastfriend has created the ultimate GPS for family caregivers. At once humane and helpful, personal and political, she charts the long, hard, and rewarding role that all of us will take caring for our families and each other. Don't leave home without it!"—Ellen Goodman, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist and founder of The Conversation Project

“Jody Gastfriend unflinchingly tackles a complex aspect of eldercare in each chapter of My Parent’s Keeper. She has masterfully blended essential facts with exceptional psychological insight to create an indispensable resource for family caregivers.”—Patrick O’Malley, author of Getting Grief Right: Finding Your Story of Love in the Sorrow of Loss

“Jody Gastfriend’s clearly written My Parent’s Keeper raises in the reader important questions about the human rights dilemma: On the one hand “supported decision making” in which care partners – children, spouses, geriatric care managers –  help people living with dementia express their own needs and decisions related to lifestyle and risk; on the other, “substitute decision making” where care givers take over decisions in the name of safety, asserting that they know what’s best for those they love and care for.”—John Zeisel, author of I’m Still Here: A New Philosophy of Alzheimer’s Care

My Parent's Keeper shines a light on the conundrum of caregiving—as adult children, our best intentions are insufficient to help our parents and ourselves. We need a plan in advance of need—this book offers up-to-date guideposts for this inevitable caregiving journey."—Laurie M. Orlov, author of When Your Parents Need Elder Care: Lessons from the Front Lines

“Caregiving is a noble cause. The responsibilities are enormous. This book helps guide us through the pitfalls when one takes on this duty, which is both a curse and a blessing for the child caring for a parent.”—Harry Haroutunian, author of Being Sober and Not As Prescribed

“Jody Gastfriend's My Parent's Keeper offers definitive testament to how the slow, destructive force of Alzheimer’s disease disrupts generations and challenges families caring for loved ones with dementia. It is a must-read and a wake-up call to the public/private sectors who serve our aging population."—Meryl Comer, President of the Geoffrey Beene Alzheimer’s Initiative, author of Slow Dancing with a Stranger: Lost and Found in the Age of Alzheimer’s

“Jody Gastfriend’s use of humor and pathos without bitterness or self-pity makes this book an easy read. The tone is conversational—never condescending, never combative—even when describing the ‘maze’ that health care has become and the limitations of existing policies.”—Gary Kennedy, Albert Einstein College of Medicine

“Jody Gastfriend successfully weaves illustrative vignettes with practical advice to help adult children navigate the challenges of caring for aging/ill parents, focusing on potentially rewarding aspects of this often-difficult task.”—Richard Marottoli, Dorothy Adler Geriatric Assessment Center, Yale–New Haven Hospital, Yale University

My Parent’s Keeper by Jody Gastfriend was chosen as a finalist in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards in the Health/Wellness category

Honorable mention for the 2019 Educators Book Award, sponsored by The Delta Kappa Gamma Society International
ISBN: 9780300221350
Publication Date: May 22, 2018
352 pages, 5 1/2 x 8 1/4
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