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Book review: 'The Caregiver's Journey' offers practical, compassionate advice
Todd F. Cope is the author of "The Caregiver's Journey." - photo by Rosemarie Howard
"THE CAREGIVER'S JOURNEY: Compassionate and Informed Care for a Loved One, by Todd F. Cope, Plain Sight Publishing, $11.99, 128 pages (nf)

The Caregivers Journey: Compassionate and Informed Care for a Loved One by Todd F. Cope is a practical guide for caregivers of aging loved ones.

Sprinkled with gentle humor, this brief, caring and concisely written book offers many valuable suggestions and ideas to help caregivers in finding their way on a journey that is common to everyone yet unique to each person and family.

The author discusses a variety of concerns, from dealing with emotions and family concerns, to accepting help and making informed decisions about care facilities at each stage of the aging journey, to accepting death.

Using the analogy of an extended family road trip, Cope divides the book into five parts: Frequent Delays, Relief Drivers, Rough Road Ahead, Enjoying the Journey and The Final Destination. Each part represents a portion of the trip and contains a brief introduction followed by three chapters of helpful information.

For example, Part 2, Relief Drivers, contains these chapter headings: Close to Home: Determining the Best Way to Deliver Care at Home, Venturing Out: Selecting the Right Outside Help and No Backseat Driving: Allowing Others to Care for Your Loved One.

Each chapter begins with a real-life example based on Copes caregiving experiences, offering glimpses into how a number of elders and their families weathered aging and end-of-life challenges.

Although there are no illustrations, the format is attractive and easy to read. Each chapter features a few pull-out quotes, and some chapters contain endnotes.

There is no profanity, foul language, violence or sexual innuendo in the book.

Cope, who is a registered nurse, has worked extensively with the elderly for more than 25 years. He has authored essays, poetry, articles and novels, including The Shift, which was the basis for the television movie The Last Dance. Cope and his wife, Denise, live in Spanish Fork.
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