Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Book Review: Love, Honor, & Value

Book Review: Love, Honor, & Value. A Family Caregiver Speaks Out about the Choices and Challenges of Caregiving

By Suzanne Geffen Mintz
President and Co-Founder, National Family Caregivers Association

This book explores the meaning of love, honor, and value in the everyday lives of family caregivers. It discusses why care giving is different today and what role society should play to integrate care giving into the fabric of our health care system.

Caregivers are an element of the health care team and deserve acceptance as such. They bring inside knowledge of the loved one’s condition to the table. Their day-to-day experience merits respect.

Love, Honor, & Value is part memoir, part philosophical treatise, and shows a new way of looking at life. Mrs. Mintz shares insights and ideas meant to ease a caregiver’s journey learned first hand from her own experience.

The common thread interwoven through all caregiver’s lives is the emotional impact of care giving. Common emotions include feeling overwhelmed, grieving the loss of personal time, sadness, and stress.

Caregivers should examine, accept, and experience their emotions. It is okay to be angry, to cry, to let go in a healthy way.

Although published in 2002, I just discovered this wonderful book. Mrs. Mintz shares her personal story as a caregiver drawing the reader in as if everyone were sitting in the family room sharing his or her story around a warm, inviting fire.

She writes with a comfortable conversational style and the reader knows she truly understands. She understands the isolation, the frustration, and the fear.

Because of her experience, she knows first hand just what to say to provide comfort.

The book explores what the everyday life of a caregiver is all about, and what part the words of the title play in that life.

Ultimately, it is important the caregiver understands she or he needs to take control of their life. Reading this book will reinforce that lesson.

Love, Honor, & Value is as pertinent today as it was the day it was written, and should be at the top of every caregivers reading list.

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