Cover Image: The Accidental Caregiver

The Accidental Caregiver

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Member Reviews

This book was very informative without being overwhelming. I have been a caregiver for several people in my family and am still in a caregiving role. I related to the different stories woven throughout and found it therapeutic. There is nothing better than feeling like someone truly understands how you feel. I can understand the many frustrating scenarios these caregivers had to go through as some were similar to my own. I appreciated the tips and resources that were given. This would be a valuable resource for anyone dealing with a family or friend that needs help due to illness or a disability.
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Important book for anyone teaching medical ethics or narrative medicine or writing about medical issues.  A brave and insightful study of caregiving which looks deeply at crucial issues.
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This is mostly a collection of stories from other caregivers. But as a person helping to provide support to a loved one, I found it nice to know there are others out there with the same struggles and grief.

Great insight if you find yourself at the beginning of a caregiver journey.
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If you're seeking anecdotes about care giving, this may be helpful. There are a few tips here and there, and it is from a Canadian perspective. 

I really appreciate the free ARC for review!!
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Thanks to netgalley for providing this ebook to me for honest review. As a caregiver for my son, with very little support in place a lot of this didn't pertain to my situation, but I really related to the tips on self care, and on how best to support those in caregiving roles, it will help me to better support others (if y'all know me, I'm gonna drop off some nutritious and comforting soup), but also to accept help from those who offer. I appreciated the statistics, and the focus on creativity in managing the emotional strain. My rating would likely be higher if I were in a more traditional caregiving role, and if I were located in Canada it would be more helpful to me in my position in social services, but it still helped me with perspective and gaining knowledge.
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In the first pages of Kimberly Fraser's THE ACCIDENTAL CAREGIVER, the point is made that everyone will ultimately play a role in caregiving, whether as giver or receiver. I read this incredibly compassionate, authoritative, and wise guide with gratitude for the many examples, wise observations, and practical support for what can be an isolating, soul-sucking, horrible time. Her points are based on deep experience and common sense solutions and throughout the read, I considered my own experiences in caregiving past, present, and future and how difficult it can be to accomplish the smallest of tasks with the bare minimum attention and support offered by our society and organizations. This is a life-essential read for all of us.  I received a copy of this book and these opinions are my own, unbiased thoughts.
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I thought this was a really interesting book and that it had a lot of really good information in it. However, I thought there were way too many facts and statistics in it, which started to lose me part way through the book. It also kept switching from from 1st person to 3rd person and back, which was confusing to me. I think it would of been better if they would of just stuck with one. The cover was really pretty though but the book was just not for me.
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First, I wanted to point out that this book was written in the perspective of a the Canadian health care system.  I am not sure how much is true about the health care procedures being the same as what is depicted in this book in the United States.  

I found the book to lack a lot of specific details about how to get the help you need.  I think this book was written more for the health care industry to see how patients are being treated and helped by their services.  A lot of what was provided in this book would definitely serve as a detailed comment card for many providers.  

The first few chapters were kind of common sense and I really didn't glean much from them.  There were some general tips for things such as getting support, how to handle stress, etc.  But I feel that if you are a caregiver to someone, purchase a book that is specific to that condition.  You will get a lot more specific information about what is going on and who to reach out to for help than then general tips in this book.   The other thing I would recommend is finding someone with the same condition and talking to them about what to expect and their perspective and their tips for making life better for you and the patient.  

Overall, the writing was very choppy, moving from one patient to another and then to another with the author's story mixed in.  The most interesting chapter was the final chapter where the author basically uses her own story to sum up all the other chapters in the book.  It flowed much better and felt more genuine.  

I think there are much better books on the topic of caregiving out there.  But if you are looking for someone to let you know you are not alone, then this book might be okay for you.
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“The Accidental Caregiver” by Kimberly Fraser is an honest and unflinching look at the realities of being a family caregiver. I was interested in reading this book for two reasons. First, I am a physically disabled adult who relies on my family for caregiving and I wanted to see how the author portrayed the care recipient. Second, my parents were recently thrown into caregiving for my grandmother with Alzheimer’s and I felt like this book might be a good resource for them. Overall I am impressed with the variety of topics discussed by the author. While some of the vignettes were repeated across chapters I think they helped reinforce the concepts and ideas presented. They helped make it “real” for the reader. I also appreciated that the author provided concrete strategies for caregivers to utilize throughout their journey. There are also policy suggestions included in many chapters which, as someone interested in advocacy I appreciated and thought was cool. 

I would definitely recommend this book for anyone who is interested in learning more about the family caregiving experience. I’d also recommend it for caregivers as it helps validate their experiences and there are practical things that they can take from each chapter. The only confusing part is the author is based in Canada so some of the terms and health coverage descriptions will be different for those in the United States.
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This is the best book I have read so far on Caregiving. It provides tools and language to help those with caregiving roles communicate more effectively with medical staff, and to find necessary resources. It also provides a framework for understanding the coping skills necessary to care for someone close to you, particularly when the role is unexpected. Highly recommended for anyone who finds themselves in the position of being "an accidental caregiver."Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC.
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Synopsis: 

The Accidental Caregiver takes readers into the lives of family Caregivers. It shares stories of hardships, love and support, and resilience. Comprehensive with both criticisms of the home health system and resources to help making said system easier to navigate. 


Review: 

Finding books about family Caregiving are hard to come by. Dr. Kimberly Fraser has written a comprehensive book about Caregiving today - the hardships caregivers face, shortcomings of home health system as it is now, what programs and organizations are available, and stories from Caregivers with loved ones suffering various terminal illnesses from Dementia, MS, to Parkinsons. 

Topics like Home Health, Respite, and Caregiver Self-Care as well as guides and lists of resources make this a must-have read for Caregivers today trying to navigate their way.

I appreciated the section where she addressed things people say to Caregivers that are good-intentioned but harmful, such as "remember to take care of yourself too" at parting. She offers other phrases and actions support people could offer instead of throw-away statements. 

There is a 'Glossary of Terms Used' at the end of the book that is helpful for someone unfamiliar with family Caregiving. 

I will be recommending this book to other Caregivers and family members of my own. Many thanks to Dr. Fraser for writing it.
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An excellent book to read if you are a caretaker or think that might be in your future.  The author tells about her experience as a nurse, director of a care-giving organization, helping her mother care for Dad (who developed MS), and her husband (who was diagnosed with an aggressive form of prostate cancer.

Keep in mind she lives in Canada and the financial aspect is totally different than in the US (where I am).  Lots of helpful  advice as she interviews care-givers, what they needed and didn't get, what they needed and had no idea it was available, etc.

Even though I am no longer a care-giver, I certainly can recommend this book (my Mom had MS for 50 years and really didn't receive any assistance until the last few years as my parents self-paid for almost everything the first 40 years).  I also dealt with my husband's 22 month fight against esophageal cancer, and later had my widowed Father living with me for almost a year when he turned 100 yrs old.
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