Circles of Care: How to Set Up Quality Home Care for Our Elders

Ann Cason. Circles of Care: How to Set Up Quality Home Care for Our Elders. Shambala Publications, Inc. Boston, Mass. 2001. 181 pages.

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Most seniors, when given a choice, would prefer to remain at home instead of go to a nursing home. Circles of Care explains how to provide quality care for seniors in their own homes.

Drawing on 20 years of experience as a caregiving coordinator and consultant, author Ann Cason focuses on how to relate to and understand what a senior is going through in order to provide the best help. According to Cason, it is necessary to enter the elder's world in order to assess the elder's needs. She addresses many of the challenging behaviors that can typically arise, such as moodiness, combativeness, confusion and memory loss, and offers sensitive strategies for dealing with them. Cason explains how to determine when help is needed and what caregiving services are available. She also provides detailed information on caregiving, including an explanation on how to give a bed bath and sample menu suggestions.

Other chapters describe how to build a caregiving team, create daily schedules and routines, enrich the elder's environment, help the elder let go, work with difficult behaviors, and care for a dying loved one. Recognizing that sometimes a nursing home is necessary, Cason includes a chapter on finding a good facility.

Circles of Care incorporates case studies and stories that provide real-world examples as well as lots of practical tips. This wise book is a valuable resource for both family members and professional caregivers.