"What you can't change from without, you have to change from within."

It's an age-old question: How exactly does a family caregiver fulfill self-care needs when a loved one is wholly dependent on him or her for intensive, 24/7 care? Family caregivers often recognize that taking time for themselves is crucial to prevent caregiver burnout, but implementing this in practical terms is virtually impossible. While there may be no way to strike a perfect balance, the down-to-earth advice given by this author is a good start to tackling caregiver challenges one day at a time. From abilities to zippers, Snyder covers an exhaustive laundry list of issues that most family caregivers will face at one point during their journey. Of course, dependents have vastly different medical needs depending on their diagnoses, but Snyder's book covers the day-to-day issues that most caregivers will eventually encounter.

Her book is organized alphabetically according to topic, which presumably is intended to let readers navigate directly to the discussion of the problem that they are currently facing. However, Snyder's writing is engaging and relevant enough that it's strongly recommended that readers plow straight through the book at least once.

Snyder covers a battery of topics, ranging from the importance of laughter and the occasional splurge to immensely practical advice on Medicaid and nighttime diaper changes. She explains how caregivers can work on defusing stress and how they can keep their energy levels up. Here, readers will encounter advice that they won't likely hear from their doctors, and Snyder's deadpan delivery is a welcome distraction from the daily grind of caregiving. Overall, this book excels at its goal of providing practical tips to improve quality of life. Readers will be comforted by Snyder's earth mother-ish words of wisdom, which are born of the author's twenty years of experience as the caregiver of her husband.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

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