Caring for the Caregiver: Making the Best of a Bad Situation

Senior care can add one more dimension to your job duties that can sometimes lead to impossible schedules without enough time for all of your other family duties and life obligations.  From our book reviewer, Renata Laszuk, comes this guest post.

I’m exhausted. I’ve been caring for my parents, my spouse and my children. Money is tighter than it’s ever been and my work hours just got cut. Then someone comes along and tells me I should look for the silver lining and I want to hit them over the head with my day-planner. But if I know that someone has faced those challenges in their own life, I might be inclined to put down any heavy objects and listen.

In his recent book, Find the Upside of the Down Times, How to Turn Your Worst Experiences into Your Best Opportunities, Dr. Rob Pennington suggests we “view our challenges in a different way”. He acknowledges that this is no easy feat, especially if one is not born with the “glass is half-full” gene, but proposes this book will help teach the reader how we can “turn our worst experiences into our best opportunities.”

This is taken from the book jacket: Dr. Rob Pennington has been shot by an assailant, fired from his job, audited by the IRS, and cared for a critically ill spouse. Every time life threw down a challenge, Rob discovered a way to find the upside. His experience demonstrates that no matter how daunting the challenge or how overwhelming the fear, we can take steps to create a positive outcome.

In each chapter, Dr. Pennington’s presents the story of a particularly challenging event in his life, followed by the lesson he needed to learn or What to Remember, and finally, each chapter ends with a suggestion of an activity or What to Do to take role in changing your situation.

Chapter 8, The Gift of Giving, describes the trials and exhaustion of constant caregiving, along with the lesson of giving without the need to receive—certainly a powerful tool for anyone who finds themselves in the role of caregiver.

I especially appreciate the quote Dr. Pennington includes in this caregiving chapter:
Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get—only with what your are expecting to give—which is everything. –Katherine Hepburn

You can find Dr. Pennington’s book, along with some of our other favorite books for senior caregivers at Caregiverlist’s Library of Senior Caregiving Books.

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