According to the National Family Caregivers Association, about 65 million people in the U.S. are caregivers. Author Jane Heller writes that this means that 29 percent of the population “is walking around stretched and pulled in all directions.”
In her book, “You’d Better Not Die, Or I’ll Kill You: A Caregiver’s Survival Guide to Keeping You in Good Health and Good Spirits,” Heller speaks to these caregivers with humor and poignancy. Heller’s husband, affected by Crohn’s disease, has been in and out of hospitals for a number of years.
In the book, recently featured in the Wall Street Journal, Heller assembles a panel of medical experts, patient advocates and fellow caregivers that have each had something happen to a loved one’s health. On Heller’s Amazon page she writes that the book is “a combo of my personal, often humorous essays about caring for a spouse with a chronic illness, interviews with other caregivers (of children, spouses and elderly parents), and advice from a wide range of experts.”
Heller describes her intent with the book as providing something that would entertain caregivers and provide them with ideas for self-care. Chapters from the book cover topics that are sometimes skirted. A few of these are covered in chapters like “Sex? Romance? Is Anybody Getting Any?” and “When Loved Ones Start Taking on a Different Personality and You Star Wishing They’d Disappear.”
Jane Heller has a number of resources that may be of interest to caregivers on her blog. Often topics are covered in videos and some of these include how to stay on a nurse’s good side, sibling rivalry and caregiving and how to relax with yoga.
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