Book Series Review
“The three volumes which comprise the Comfort in Their Journey series are somewhat of an encyclopedia of caregiving. It was written by Trish Laub as a result of her experiences caring for her father who suffered from Alzheimer's. The series embraces every aspect of family caregiving, from the practical to the emotional, from diagnosis through death, and how Trish and her sisters aided their mother, the well spouse.
In the first book, A Most Meaningful Life: My Dad and Alzheimer's, Trish details how her family tried to achieve the goal of maintaining a quality of life, rather than longevity without quality, for her father. She discusses facts and myths about Alzheimer's, describes the emotional and physical care of her father, as well as hospital and rehab nightmares they underwent ("Dad was almost killed due to medical error: 4 times in 63 days"), and includes short stories from some of her father's caregivers.
The second book, Peaceful Endings: Guiding the Walk to the End of Life and Beyond, contains the difficult issues that no one wants to address, but that caregivers need to know in order to plan for the inevitable death of a family member. Here, Trish provides extensive information on legal matters such as estate planning; end of life care (palliative and hospice); how to know when the end of life is approaching; planning funerals, burials, settling estates; and a discussion of grieving after the death.
Finally, because it has sadly become necessary for ill people to have family members advocating for them in a healthcare system that is often labyrinthine, impersonal and prone to mistakes, Trish's third book is Through the Rabbit Hole: Navigating the Maze of Providing Care. She notes that medical error is the third leading cause of death, according to a 2016 study by Johns Hopkins Medicine. Caregivers need to coordinate and oversee the healthcare providers involved in their family member's care. In this volume, Trish details how to find the right doctors, how to choose the best living option for the ill person (home, nursing home, etc.), how to find and manage caregivers, what medical equipment and supplies are available that may be appropriate. She also discusses how to recognize and deal with common medical issues such as C. diff, sepsis, UTIs, etc.
Comfort in Their Journey is a comprehensive reference, with detailed Tables of Contents which enable the reader to quickly find what they are looking for. And if all of what is in these books is not enough, Trish offers listings of other books and resources that may provide further help to the overwhelmed caregiver.”
Well Spouse® Association, Mainstay Newsletter October/November 2019 issue, reviewed by Terri Corcoran