Caregiver Stories: The Lighter Side

I love to read, but there are times that I just don’t have the time, energy, or attention span for anything requiring deep concentration. I know the same holds true for many caregivers – now and then, you just want to sit down and unwind with something on the lighter side.

3 For Your Summer Reading List

Well, grab a nice cold drink, find a shady spot, and take a break with one of these great titles. Let’s face it, we all need a daily dose of humor and inspiration, don’t we!?

Chicken Soup for the Soul – Family Caregivers: 101 Stories of Love, Sacrifice, and Bonding (Joan Lunden and Amy Newmark). Keep this one handy and pick it up when you have a few spare minutes here or there. A compilation of 101 caregiver stories, this book will remind you that you aren’t alone. Inside, you’ll find encouragement and humor, as well as plenty of emotional support and validation from others who have walked the path of a caregiver. The stories will make you laugh and cry, but most of all, they’ll help you realize you’re part of a much larger community of people caring for loved ones each and every day.

Strength for the Moment: Inspiration for Caregivers (Lori Hogan). Lori and Paul Hogan founded Home Instead Senior Care after learning first hand just how challenging life as a caregiver can be. This book is a nod to the overwhelming nature of caregiving, and it provides reassurance and encouragement through the telling of 52 inspirational stories. Written from the heart, you’re sure to find peace and comfort, as well as some great practical advice, in these pages.

The Hedge People: How I Kept My Sanity and Sense of Humor as an Alzheimer’s Caregiver  (Louise Carey). I’m especially happy when I see a book that reminds us it’s not only okay, but downright necessary, to find the humor in some very unlikely situations. My own mom was a strong believer in laughter, so I know she would have wanted us to seek it out whenever possible. Prior to her illness, Mom’s philosophy on life was simple, “I can laugh or I can cry, so I may as well laugh.” In this book, Louise Carey uses a collection of true stories to help us find humor, joy, and resolve in the emotionally exhausting caregiver journey.

Tell us what’s on your reading list this summer! Feel free to leave your recommendations in a comment below!


  1. Ella

    I highly recommend a good book for relaxing and there is something to be said about the importance of the right one, it seems to force you to do nothing for awhile. As my brother’s primary caregiver I’m starting to get it, that anything that needs to be done can wait. We also have to remember the importance of rest, recharging my batteries I call it, and reading can bring on that nap we may be needing. I had neglected to read a book, thinking I didn’t have the time to get “into it.” I would focus on a favorite magazine or my daily newspaper thinking it’s quick and easy reading, all that I was capable of handling. I sold myself short and will admit I have become hooked on reading a good book, finishing one and moving onto the next. Love to hear more recommendations.

    I would like to recommend Still Alice by Lisa Genova, a story of a woman who is diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s. When I chose to read this book I initially thought should I? Would it be a depressing story I wondered? I’m always striving to be a better caregiver, to know more, so decision was made. I’m glad I read this book, even though tears were shed. The story shares what Alice and her family are going thru from the onset of her symptoms. The book is educating minus a lot of medical jargon. I’ve put it in a safe hide away place to reference when needed. While reading Still Alice I reflected on the importance of so many things, to many to mention. High on the list, compassion, empathy, patience and understanding. Excellent reading!

    God Bless All Caregivers and Take Care of You!

    • Ann Napoletan

      Thanks for the feedback, Ella. That book has been on my reading list for years… and I still haven’t had the guts to pick it up yet. One day, I’ll be ready. Oddly enough, I’ve also been going through a spell where I just can’t seem to focus to read anything at all. It’s maddening, because typically I love to read. Take care, Ella. ~Ann

  2. Velia Pola

    Please add the memoir “A Bridge Between: Northern Italy Come Hell or High Water” to your reading list. It deals with the psychological and physiological complications of aging and the resulting changes to our familial relationships. Told through the eyes of an emerging caregiver while traveling with her elderly parents to her 91-year-old father’s ancestral village, it is light but thought provoking (available on Amazon).

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