Sixty-six percent of all caregivers in this country are women, a number that is increasing as the population ages. Many of these women are so caught up - even trapped - in this role they seriously neglect their own needs, which can lead to physical, emotional and financial burnout.
In "The Caregiving Wife's Handbook: Caring for Your Seriously Ill Husband, Caring for Yourself" (Hunter House Publishers) by Diana B. Denholm, the author offers support and tools to help women get through this stressful time with compassion while keeping themselves emotionally whole.
As the primary caregiver for her husband for over 10 years, Denholm learned firsthand how little help is available to women caring for dying husbands. Over time, she combined this experience with her training as a practicing therapist and communication expert to develop the tools and strategies she shares in this book.
Denholm's twin goals are to help wives communicate with reluctant spouses about important issues and to take care of their own physical, emotional and practical wellbeing.
She includes real-life examples from six case histories, stories that help readers discover they are not alone and that many of their emotional responses, including negative ones, are common and normal.
"The Caregiving Wife's Handbook" includes a helpful list of "50 Do's and Don'ts" and information on how to manage emotions, how to approach awkward subjects, and how to negotiate hot-button issues. These are practical tips that empower women to bring more balance, free time and even fun into their lives.
Denholm has a doctorate in psychology, is a board-certified medical psychotherapist and has been in private practice for over 30 years.