The Mindful Caregiver


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Table of Contents

Introduction: How to Become a Mindful Caregiver
1: Understanding the Caregiver Role: The Mindful Caregiver
2: What is Realistic to Expect?
3 : Self-Care Absolutely Matters
4: Incorporating Mindfulness into Self-Care: Creative Ideas and Exercises
5: Inspiring More Meaningful Engagement: Finding Ways to Be Together
6: Navigating the Maze of Resources and Services
7: Advocacy and Partnership
8: When the End is Near: Finishing Well

About the Author

Nancy L. Kriseman, LCSW, is a geriatric social worker in private practice. She provides counseling, consultation, and educational seminars to family caregivers, and training and presentations to organizations. She has over thirty years of experience working in eldercare, focusing much of her professional career working with family caregivers. She has published numerous articles on aging issues. Her first book, The Caring Spirit Approach to Eldercare: A Training Guide for Professionals and Families, won two national book awards in 2005. She also has been a caregiver to her mother, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and lived with it for seventeen years.
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Nancy L. Kriseman's new book is an unusual and comprehensive guide to bringing 'mindfulness' to family caregiving, and well worth reading. ... The Mindful Caregiver is about so much more than paying attention to the needs of others. In fact, the central message of Kriseman’s book is that we, as family caregivers caring for a family member or friend, need to pay attention to own needs above all else. ... The Mindful Caregiver could be described not just as a meditation on mindfulness, but as a top-notch 'how to' book for caregivers. Her tips for finding a geriatric care manager, deciding on an elder care facility, or advocating for your loved one in the E.R., for example, seem comprehensive. As readers we benefit from Kriseman’s long career working with elders and their caregivers, and from her ability to write clearly and compassionately. ... [W]hat makes The Mindful Caregiver particularly compelling are the author’s descriptions of the challenges faced by some of her former clients. . . . I appreciated that Kriseman goes into detail for each scenario, offering us a road map if we find ourselves in similar situations. Many readers will see themselves and their families in these pages, and feel both reassured that they are not alone and empowered to put their own needs firsts.

If you are facing the need for caregiving in any manner this should be one of your first stops on the path.  Be guided by those that have traveled this way before you.
*Well Spouse Association*

This pioneering book reflects Nancy Kriseman’s years of experience, breakthrough insights, and cutting-edge knowledge. It is a true gift to caregivers.
*Mary Erlanger, Ph.D., Geriatric Counselor/Professor*

The Mindful Caregiver is a book that should be “required reading” for caregivers. Nancy Kriseman tells this story from the perspective of having been a caregiver herself, as well as her years of helping other caregivers. The mortality rate of the so called “well spouse” is unacceptably high; the high depression rate among caregivers also points to how caregivers often overlook their own needs. Nancy’s book offers excellent examples of how to be a mindful caregiver so that diseases, especially Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, do not have two victims: the person with the disease and the caregiver.
*Joyce Simard, MSW, adjunct associate professor at University of Western Sydney, Australia; Geriatric Consultant; Professional Speaker; Author*

Nancy Kriseman's book is unique and powerful. The Mindful Caregiver offers both personal insights and professional experience on every page. Nancy has been a hands on family caregiver herself for many years, as well as professionally guiding and counseling family caregivers through many challenges in their personal caregiving. Her advice, and the stories she shares, offers a voice that every caregiver can relate to and benefit from reading.
*Connie Goldman, author of Hardship Into Hope: The Rewards of Caregiving*

Nancy Kriseman's book is full of pragmatic and helpful tools for making caregiving easier, but really, her book is about a new way of being a caregiver. Sharing personal and professional stories, she skillfully describes a more intentional path, one that helps caregivers stay resilient and healthy, not with a pill but with self-awareness. Bravo!
*Pauline Boss, Ph.D., author: Ambiguous Lossand Loving Someone Who Has Dementia*

A gifted writer mindfully melds personal and professional know-how to encourage and inspire family caregivers. Kriseman’s pro-active, positive words honor the spirit of family care relationships while simultaneously acknowledging the losses in providing such intimate care. Her step-by-step guidance will preserve family caregiver strengths. Readers will immediately identify with the poignant well-placed family caregiver quotes from recognition of a problem through end-of-life care. If this was a medication, doctors would be prescribing it to every well-intentioned but understandably overwhelmed family caregiver.
*Lisa P. Gwyther, MSW, LCSW, Bryan Alzheimer's Disease Research Center, Duke University Medical Center*

Nancy Kriseman has done a masterful job of applying the cutting edge mental health concept of mindfulness to the emerging public health crisis of caregiver burden. This book combines Nancy’s unique perspective based on years of intimate work with her clients and her personal experience as a caregiver for her own beloved mother with Alzheimer ’s disease. This book is an essential read for caregivers of the elderly and infirm as well as the professionals who accompany them on this journey.
*Bruce E. Rudisch, M.D., adjunct faculty, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences; teaching faculty, Emory University Psychoanalytic Institute*

The Mindful Caregiver: Finding Ease in the Caregiving Journey is an inspirational book that speaks to the spirit, heart, mind, body and soul of both caregivers and their “care recipients.” Creative, well researched, based on years of personal and professional experience, and loaded with solid practical tips, meaningful anecdotes, and humorous perspectives, Kriseman’s book has a positive, upbeat tone that addresses the benefits as well as the burdens, the pleasures as well as the pitfalls, inherent in the caregiving role. A must read for every caregiver.
*Helen W. Coale, LCSW, LMFT, Atlanta, Georgia*

This is an informative book using mindfulness and self awareness to ease the caregiver’s journey. [The Mindful Caregiver is] presented in an easy and insightful reading style. . . .The use of case studies throughout the book present pertinent issues, ideas and strategies . . . [which] help negate the feelings of isolation and loneliness. . . .I believe a caregiver reading this would find their spirits lifted and find their personal fear and guilt subsiding, for these reasons alone the book is worth reading. . . .While the book is uplifting and positive it doesn’t shirk from the realistic and in places honest picture of what it means to be a caregiver. . . .The resources, appendices and bibliography . . . are comprehensive and provide the reader with a starting point and include an excellent appendix on how to evaluate a website. . . .an excellent resource for carers. Its open writing style presents a non judgemental uplifting read with no expectations placed upon the reader. It can be read from cover to cover but provides useful chapters to dip back into at a later day or if requiring a therapeutic pick-me-up.
*Nursing Times*

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