Sunday, August 28, 2016

The Caregiving Season Finding Grace to Honor Your Aging Parents by Jane Daly - a Book Review

Jane Daly, author
The Caregiving Season, Finding Grace to Honor Your Aging Parents by Jane Daly is a well written book that deals with a difficult subject. Ms. Daly's book provides insight and encouragement for those currently dealing with aging parents and also for those about to enter this season of their lives. Ms. Daly lives in California with her husband, Mike and helps to watch over her 92 year old mother on a daily basis.

I loved the way Ms. Daly wrote her book. She used personal experiences to help the reader understand the challenges of caring for an aging parent. As I read Ms. Daly's stories, I was impressed with her openness and honesty. Several of the incidents she described in caring for her aging Father before his death hit home for me as I'd experienced very similar challenges with my Father before went home to glory. As she talked about the trials she's faced with her aging Mother, I could relate to each one as I am also helping care for my invalid Mother.

The Caregiving Season is a wonderful guidebook that points the reader to Christ as each challenge comes along. There are helpful tips and advice as well as heart wrenching stories of personal trial. I wish I'd had this book before going through lung cancer with my Father. It would have given me great peace to know some of the feelings and challenges I faced were also faced by others. I am thankful to have the book now and will use it often in the days ahead as my Mother continues to decline. In the book, Ms. Daly spoke about the importance of setting boundaries while extending grace to our aging parent. I found this bit of information extremely helpful. Ms. Daly said, "When you're in the position of caring for your parent, it's easy to revert to being a child again, especially if your relationship was never healthy to begin with. It can be difficult to create a boundary as an adult if no boundaries previously existed." She also states, "We need to be flexible and be able to shift boundary lines as we adjust to the new reality." Ms. Daly gives 3 steps to setting boundaries. The first step is to pray about how to approach the parent. Enlisting the prayer support of a friend or pastor may be necessary. Step two is to learn to speak humbly and with grace. She encourages the caregiver to learn to speak using "I" statements instead of "You" statements such as "I feel sad when you say those things to me." The third step in creating boundaries is to be prepared for some pushback or resistance. She says you can't expect things to change instantly. Another area I found very helpful was Ms. Daly's advice on choosing our battles. She points the caregiver to Colossians 4:6 which says, "Let your conversation be always full of grace." She says that verse helped her understand that sometimes it's important to bit your tongue instead of "responding to a barb."

At the end of each chapter, Ms. Daly includes Grace Growers thoughts and questions. These helpful points provided a lot of insight regarding how God views the care of aging parents. A sample of some of the Grace Growers from chapter 9, The Line in the Sand:

  • Consider some of the parental boundaries you set with your children. Do you also need to set some boundaries with your aging loved ones for their good and yours?
  • Do you have a need to be "right" all the time? Think about how you can lay thath aside and focus on your parents' needs. 
  • Mediate on Proverbs 16:24 and Galatians 5:22-23: "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. Against such things there is no law." Focus on exercising self-control. Think about how your words can be sweet to your loved ones' ears. Remember, "A gentle answer turns away wrath." Proverbs 15:1
The Caregiving Season is filled with wisdom and would be a great addition to anyone's personal library. I think this book should be readily available to caregivers and should be provided by hospitals, nursing homes, and other facilities that promote elder care. I am going to personally recommend this book to anyone facing the challenge of caring for an aging parent or other relative. 

I would like to thank Tyndale House Publishers for the opportunity to review this book. I was given a complimentary copy in exchange for my honest review and I was not encouraged to provide a positive review. 

You may purchase the book on Amazon by clicking here

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