As I continue to build our content, I’ll add links to additional resources to support the various needs you may have while traveling the Boomer Continuum™. Some are websites (noted in parentheses) and some are books (noted in italics). Descriptions in quotes are from our affiliate partners, which are designated as appropriate.
And here’s my disclaimer: although I’ve read some of the books listed, I haven’t yet been able to read each one. But you can be sure they’re either in my Amazon shopping cart, or headed to my house! I’ve selected them based on the reviews they’ve received from readers, as well as the credibility of the authors or organizations associated with them. I recommend that you do the same, and make your purchase decisions at your own discretion.
If you find something that’s particularly helpful, please let me know!
If you find something that you thought wasn’t so great—please let me know!
If you know of something awesome you’d like to see added to the list—please let me know!
A Spirituality of Caregiving by Henri Nouwen (affiliate link) “If you provide care for another person, whether you are a family member or a professional caregiver, you know that caregiving is hard, sometimes unappreciated work. But have you ever considered that it isn t easy to be the care receiver?”
Essential Puree – The A to Z Guidebook with 67 Pureed Recipes for the Dysphagia Diet by Diane Wolff (affiliate link) “Delicious puréed recipes for anyone with swallowing disorders, including three levels of Dysphagia (Soft Diet, Modified Soft Diet and Puree Diet). Provides a system for setting up and running a purée kitchen. Taking the guesswork out of the setup, the Essential Purée system is fast, easy, organized and smart. Indispensable for caregivers and families coping with patients with dysphagia or swallowing difficulties…”
Family Caregiver Alliance-National Center on Caregiving (website) a 40 year-old organization with a mission “To improve the quality of life for caregivers and those they care for through information, services, and advocacy.” Provides a wide array of excellent resources, including FCA CareJourney™,”a secure online service for quality information, support, and resources for family caregivers of adults with chronic physical or cognitive conditions such as Alzheimer’s, stroke, Parkinson’s, and other illnesses”; and the FCA Learning Center™, “an online learning community offering information, training, classes and more” for caregivers.
How to Care for Aging Parents, 3rd Edition: A One-Stop Resource for All Your Medical, Financial, Housing, and Emotional Issues by Virginia Morris (affiliate link) “‘The bible of eldercare’—ABC World News. ‘An indispensable book’—AARP. ‘A compassionate guide of encyclopedic proportion’—The Washington Post…How to Care for Aging Parents is an authoritative, clear, and comforting source of advice and support for the ever-growing number of Americans—now 42 million—who care for an elderly parent, relative, or friend. And now, in its third edition, it is completely overhauled and updated…”
Juggling Life, Work, and Caregiving by Amy Goyer (affiliate link) “Although caregiving can be a richly rewarding and joyful experience, the role comes with enormous responsibilities―and pressures. AARP’s gentle guide provides practical resources and tips that are easy to find when you need them, whether you’re caregiving day to day, planning for future needs, or in the middle of a crisis. Equally important, this book helps you care for the caregiver―you―before, during, and after caregiving.”
Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories by Carol Bradley Bursack (affiliate link) “Baby boomers are now facing the challenge of caring for their aging parents, and that challenge knows no borders. Some version of what has happened to the elderly people in my life and in the lives of the people I’ve interviewed, is happening or will happen to you, the reader, as well…Minding Our Elders was written to support you as you travel the last leg of their journey with them. It was written to remind you that you are not alone.”
Minding Our Elders (website) Offers an array of resources for family caregivers and their loved ones. “It is the mission of Minding Our Elders® to break the isolation of caregivers and elders and give them a voice.”
The 36-Hour Day: A Family Guide to Caring for People Who Have Alzheimer Disease, Other Dementias, and Memory Loss (Sixth Edition) by Nancy L. Mace MA and Peter V. Rabins MD MPH (affiliate link) “Through five editions, The 36-Hour Day has been an essential resource for families who love and care for people with Alzheimer disease. Whether a person has Alzheimer disease or another form of dementia, he or she will face a host of problems. The 36-Hour Day will help family members and caregivers address these challenges and simultaneously cope with their own emotions and needs.”
The Caregiving Season: Finding Grace to Honor Your Aging Parents by Jane Daly (affiliate link). “Caring for elderly parents is challenging. It’s a season of life that requires grace and strength that can only come from God. In The Caregiving Season, Jane Daly shares personal caregiving stories, offering practical advice to help you honor your aging parents well and deepen your personal relationship with Christ along the journey.”
Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff . . . and It’s All Small Stuff: Simple Ways to Keep the Little Things from Taking Over Your Life by Richard Carlson (affiliate link) “During his life, Richard Carlson, Ph.D, was considered one of the foremost experts in happiness and stress reduction in the United States and around the world…Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff continued to be a publishing phenomenon with over 20 titles in the brand franchise, two of which were co-authored and authored with his beloved wife, Kris. He died of a pulmonary embolism in December 2006, at the age of forty-five…Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff spent over 100 weeks on the New York Times Best-Seller list and is still considered one of the fastest selling books of all time and has sold over 15 million copies worldwide.”
Finding Purpose: Rediscovering Meaning in a Life with Chronic Illness (Chronic Joy Thrive Series) (Volume 2) by Cindee Snyder Re (affiliate link). “What if purpose looks different than we believe? What if purpose isn’t defined by education, gifts or passion? Isn’t determined by what we are able to do? Isn’t affected by what we’ve lost due to chronic illness? What if, instead, purpose simply draws us toward God? What if we are called to be instead of to do? Finding Purpose is a 10-chapter study inviting you to release cultural and traditional definitions of purpose and instead to embrace God’s – a timeless definition rooted in His word and as refreshing as a gentle spring rain.”
homemods.org (website) “This web site, based at the University of Southern California Leonard Davis School of Gerontology, is dedicated to promoting aging in place and independent living for persons of all ages and abilities. It offers training and education opportunities for professionals who wish to respond to the increasing demand for home modification services. It also serves as an information clearinghouse on home modification to equip professionals and consumers with a comprehensive inventory of resources such as a National Directory of Home Modification and Repair Resources.”
Life after Loss: A Practical Guide to Renewing Your Life after Experiencing Major Loss by Bob Deits (affiliate link) “Life after Loss is the go-to resource for anyone who has suffered a major loss. With great compassion and insight, Bob Deits provides essential wisdom and practical exercises for navigating the uncertain terrain of grief and recovery. Now in its sixth edition, this guide is fully updated with new advice on catastrophic losses, guidance on using technology to foster connections and maintain support networks, and reflections from Deits’ ongoing counseling and his firsthand experiences. After a destabilizing change, Life after Loss helps you to find positive ways to put together a life that is necessarily different–but equally meaningful.
Mesothelioma Help Now (website) “Our main focus is to provide accurate and helpful information, support and resources to patients and their loved one. We want to help them better understand their diagnosis, how to find treatment, and all options available to them. Our support section is full of information listing the top support options, caregiver tips, financial support options, grief counseling, home and hospice care along with so much more.”
Revitalizing Retirement: Reshaping Your Identity, Relationships, and Purpose by Nancy K. Schlossberg. “This volume gives guidance on how to create a happy, fulfilling retirement. The author urges readers to reshape their identity, relationships, and purpose. She also discusses several coping skills that deal with accepting change and help retirees continue to feel that they are vital members of the community.”
Slow Medicine: The Way to Healing by Victoria Sweet, M.D. (affiliate link) “Over the years that Victoria Sweet has been a physician, ‘healthcare’ has replaced medicine, ‘providers’ look at their laptops more than at their patients, and costs keep soaring, all in the ruthless pursuit of efficiency. Yet the remedy that economists and policy makers continue to miss is also miraculously simple. Good medicine takes more than amazing technology; it takes time—time to respond to bodies as well as data, time to arrive at the right diagnosis and the right treatment…”
Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek (affiliate link) Although this may sound like a book geared only for leaders, understanding what motivates us has much broader implications as we age. “In studying the leaders who’ve had the greatest influence in the world, Simon Sinek discovered that they all think, act, and communicate in the exact same way-and it’s the complete opposite of what everyone else does. People like Martin Luther King Jr., Steve Jobs, and the Wright Brothers might have little in common, but they all started with why.”
The Patient Will See You Now: The Future of Medicine Is in Your Hands by Eric Topol, MD (affiliate link) “A trip to the doctor is almost a guarantee of misery. You’ll make an appointment months in advance. You’ll probably wait for several hours until you hear ‘the doctor will see you now’—but only for fifteen minutes! Then you’ll wait even longer for lab tests, the results of which you’ll likely never see, unless they indicate further (and more invasive) tests, most of which will probably prove unnecessary (much like physicals themselves). And your bill will be astronomical. In The Patient Will See You Now, Eric Topol, one of the nation’s top physicians, shows why medicine does not have to be that way.”
The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For? by Rick Warren (affiliate link) “Licensed in over eighty-five languages, The Purpose Driven Life is far more than just a book; it is a guide to a spiritual journey…”
The Purpose Driven Life Journal: What on Earth Am I Here For? by Rick Warren (affiliate link) “Features Scriptures and quotes by Rick Warren, plus space to record reflections, prayers, and goals while seeking God’s plans for your life.”
Voices of Aging: Adult Children and Aging Parents Talk with God by Missy Buchanan (affiliate link) “Nationally recognized older adult advocate Missy Buchanan offers a compassionate look at the concerns of two generations adult children and their parents as they struggle with the fears and frustrations of aging. Buchanan invites readers of both generations to stand in each other shoes through a series of 20 scenarios, presented as paired conversations with God…”
Advance Directives, Durable Power of Attorney, Wills, and Other Legal Considerations (Alzheimer’s Roadmap) (Volume 3) by Laura Town and Karen Kassel (affiliate link) “The Alzheimer’s Roadmap series was designed by a caregiver for caregivers. Each book provides checklists on a given topic to help caregivers know what they need to do as they travel through their difficult journey. ”
Aging with Dignity (website) Includes information about the Five Wishes living will.
American Association of Retired Persons (AARP – website) Includes general information about advance directives.
American Cancer Society (website) Provides an extensive overview—including information about the Patient Self-Determination Act (PSDA).
Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande, M.D. (affiliate link) “Named a Best Book of the Year by The Washington Post, The New York Times Book Review, NPR, and Chicago Tribune…Medicine has triumphed in modern times, transforming the dangers of childbirth, injury, and disease from harrowing to manageable. But when it comes to the inescapable realities of aging and death, what medicine can do often runs counter to what it should…In his bestselling books, Atul Gawande, a practicing surgeon, has fearlessly revealed the struggles of his profession. Now he examines its ultimate limitations and failures-in his own practices as well as others’-as life draws to a close. Riveting, honest, and humane, Being Mortal shows how the ultimate goal is not a good death but a good life-all the way to the very end.”
Caresearch (website) Based in Australia—”Death and dying will affect all of us. CareSearch provides trustworthy information about palliative care for patients, carers and families as well as for the health professionals providing their care. Just as trustworthy information can help patients and families understand what is happening and make decisions, research evidence helps clinicians provide the best possible care.” Offers Dying2Learn, “…a Massive Open Online Course that is looking at death and dying in a different way.”
Dying Well: Peace and Possibilities at the End of Life by Ira Byock, M.D. (affiliate link) “Nobody should have to die in pain. Nobody should have to die alone. This is Ira Byock’s dream, and he is dedicating his life to making it come true. Dying Well brings us to the homes and bedsides of families with whom Dr. Byock has worked, telling stories of love and reconciliation in the face of tragedy, pain, medical drama, and conflict. Through the true stories of patients, he shows us that a lot of important emotional work can be accomplished in the final months, weeks, and even days of life. It is a companion for families, showing them how to deal with doctors, how to talk to loved ones—and how to make the end of life as meaningful and enriching as the beginning.”
Extreme Measures: Finding a Better Path to the End of Life by Jessica Zitter, M.D. (affiliate link) Written by the courageous physician highlighted in the award-winding documentary Extremis. “Extreme Measures charts Zitter’s journey from wanting to be one kind of hero to becoming another—a doctor who prioritizes the patient’s values and preferences in an environment where the default choice is the extreme use of technology…Filled with rich patient stories that make a compelling medical narrative, Extreme Measures enlarges the national conversation as it thoughtfully and compassionately examines an experience that defines being human.”
I’ll Have It My Way: Taking Control of End of Life Decisions: a Book about Freedom & Peace by Hattie Bryant (affiliate link) “I’ll Have It My Way credibly and passionately presents the case for personal responsibility in the healthcare, legal, and procedural decisions that all of us must make―if they are not to be made for us. By making our wishes known and communicating them effectively, we remove the burden from our loved ones of making the deeply personal choices that will enable us to live our lives more fully to the end…”
National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization’s (NHPCO) CaringInfo (website) Includes general information and free state-specific advance directive forms that you can download.
National POLST Paradigm (website) Includes detailed information about Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST), as well the status of each state regarding its use of POLST.
The Best Care Possible: A Physician’s Quest to Transform Care Through the End of Life by Ira Byock, M.D. (affiliate link) “Dr. Ira Byock, one of the foremost palliative-care physicians in the country, argues that how we die represents a national crisis today. To ensure the best possible elder care, Dr. Byock explains we must not only remake our healthcare system but also move beyond our cultural aversion to thinking about death. The Best Care Possible is a compelling meditation on medicine and ethics told through page-turning life-or-death medical drama. It has the power to lead a new national conversation.”
The Conversation Project (website) “Dedicated to helping people talk about their wishes for end-of-life care. Too many people are dying in a way they wouldn’t choose, and too many of their loved ones are left feeling bereaved, guilty, and uncertain. It’s time to transform our culture so we shift from not talking about dying to talking about it. It’s time to share the way we want to live at the end of our lives. And it’s time to communicate about the kind of care we want and don’t want for ourselves. We believe that the place for this to begin is at the kitchen table—not in the intensive care unit—with the people we love, before it’s too late.Together we can make these difficult conversations easier. We can make sure that our own wishes and those of our loved ones are expressed and respected.”
The practical guide to Health Care Advance Directives (2015 Edition) by Jo Kline Cebuhar, J.D. (affiliate link) Per one expert’s recommendation on Amazon: “This book is written for the lay person and is by far the best and clearest that I have seen. If someone, anywhere—not just the USA—wants a book to explain what Advance Directives are all about, why they need them, and how to (and how not to) go about doing it, then I would be happy to recommend this book.” – Dr. Roger Woodruff, Lifetime Board Member of the International Association of Hospice and Palliative Care (IAHPC).