Stories Worth Remembering

Foreword – The Caregiver’s Journey

With the increasing number of people finding themselves as informal caregivers of aging family members, there is a growing demand for caregiver resources. Many families in the United States have an older loved one requiring care, and the number of family caregivers is only expected to increase. Family caregivers are often desperate for accurate and useful information in a convenient format. While there are many books available to assist caregivers in their responsibilities, and each likely has strengths, most sources seem packed with information that is difficult to digest, especially within the limited time that caregivers have to look for information.

“The Caregiver’s Journey: Compassionate and Informed Care for a Loved One” is a perfect resource for caregivers as it presents helpful information in an engaging way that is easy to follow. Caregiving principles are interwoven with stories to give caregivers real-life examples of how to address difficult situations.

Todd Cope, a Registered Nurse for more than two decades and a family caregiver for both of his parents, has written some of the things he has learned about caregiving so that you, as a caregiver might have some direction in this challenging endeavor. Todd personally understands what you as a caregiver may be experiencing. He has lived through those long and sleepless nights, and knows how it feels to be called away from work to deal with a crisis. His unique perspective as both a personal and professional caregiver allows him to provide informed and helpful advice, and lends strong credibility to this book.

Whether you are just beginning the caregiving journey, or are somewhere along the way, “The Caregiver’s Journey” provides a sensitive and informed perspective of caregiving experiences. Powerful concepts and real-life examples are woven into a detailed portrait of the caregiving journey. I have taught about caregiving in families to university students for several years. I loved reading this book because Todd provides a springboard for new caregivers to know the main issues along with resources to meet the challenges that many caregivers face. Some of the gems in this book include simple solutions to behavior problems, suggestions for difficult decisions (including those made at the end of life), appropriate expectations of self and other caregivers (informal and formal caregivers), and good advice in difficult situations. Todd sensitively addresses the many emotions of caregiving. He frankly addresses anticipated difficulties and helps the reader to consider the many blessings of providing care to a loved one. I most highly recommend this book to caregivers that are starting the journey or are seeking help in navigating challenges associated with caring for a loved one.

As the number of people living into their eighth and ninth decade increases, so will the need for qualified caregivers grow. This book is an ideal source for information that will help prepare anyone who is or may be called upon to provide care to a loved one. “The Caregiver’s Journey” offers a solid foundation for family caregivers, regardless of where they are at along the path of caregiving.

Dr. Jeremy B. Yorgason, Associate Professor, Family Studies, Brigham Young University

Todd F. Cope