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[The DRM Guide to Disability Resources on the Internet]


Monitoring, Reviewing and Reporting on Resources For Independent Living

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As most of you reading this review know, caring for a loved one with a chronic illness or disability can be a full-time job – or more. The staff of www.disabilityresources.org knows this fact, too, because all of us have been involved in caring for family members with disabilities, chronic disease, and terminal illness. While we like to pride ourselves on being resourceful in difficult times, we also know how a little help from unexpected sources can go a long way. Here, then, are three such resources that have been especially beneficial to us in the hope they prove to be just as much to you:

Passages In Caregiving: Turning Chaos Into Confidence
by by Gail Sheehy
William Morrow & Co., 2010. Hardcover, 416 pages, $27.99.

Although journalist Gail Sheehy has chronicled the life passages we make in her many bestsellers, she found herself embarking on a passage she had not envisioned when her husband was diagnosed with cancer. From that moment on, Sheehy joined the ranks of caregivers who provide the main support for ill family members. As she discovered, such caregiving is unpaid, undervalued, exhausting, and lonely. Combining her personal experience with those of others, Sheehy examines the complexities of caring for a loved one and offers valuable insight and a wealth of resources and information. This is not only a comprehensive look at a subject most people would rather ignore, it is a wake up call to a graying population that will need the sage advice Sheehy provides.

Help With Caregiver Stress
written and performed by Belleruth Naparstek
Health Journeys, 2010. Audio CD, approximately 45 minutes, $17.98. Ordering information: www.healthjourneys.com

Let's face it. Stress is a fact of life, and, for caregivers, stress can be a significant concern. Finding ways to help keep caregivers physically and emotionally healthy is a real challenge. Often, there don't seem to be enough hours in the day to do more than the most immediate tasks, leaving those who provide care feeling depleted. One simple, very effective way to re-charge caregiver energy and to prevent serious ongoing problems is guided imagery. No one does guided imagery programs better than psychotherapist Belleruth Naparstek, one of the pioneers in this mind-body healing meditation technique. The recent release of her audio CD Help With Caregiver Stress should be of immense benefit to anyone needing to take care of herself or himself as well as a family member. This 45-minute meditation is divided into three sections. The first is an introduction to guided imagery detailing the science behind the technique. The second part is a guided imagery exercise utilizing standard visualization and relaxation. The CD ends with a section devoted to affirmations blended with gentle music. We can't recommend this much-needed CD highly enough!

Your Creative Brain: Seven Steps To Maximize Imagination, Productivity, and Innovation In Your Life
by Shelley Carson.
Jossey-Bass, 2010. Hardcover, 384 pages, $24.95.

Ask any caregiver, personal or professional, for a common, ongoing thread to life, and I would wager that "change" tops the list. With that in mind, taking a look at Your Creative Brain by Harvard creativity researcher and professor Shelley Carson might provide some helpful suggestions for rolling with the changes, big and small, that come with health concerns and caregiving. This is a highly readable examination of cutting edge psychoneuroimmunology and how thinking and acting differently can promote emotional and physical well-being. Interesting and informative, Carson's take on creativity and resilience is a practical and empathetic plan with easy to implement steps and ideas.

-Reviewed by Sally Rosenthal

About the reviewer: Sally Rosenthal is a former college librarian and occupational therapist who is a frequent writer on the topics of disability issues, companion animals, and working dogs.


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