The Complete Eldercare Planner

Joy Loverde. The Complete Eldercare Planner (Rev Upd. edition.) Three Rivers Press. N.Y. 2009. 400 pages. $13.57 at Amazon

Becoming a caregiver for an elderly loved one can be an overwhelming experience. The Complete Eldercare Planner is a practical guide designed to help caregivers organize and manage all the tasks involved in eldercare.

Written by Joy Loverde, an eldercare consultant, The Complete Eldercare Planner is an extremely helpful resource. This revised and updated edition provides numerous tips for dealing with everything from how to avoid caregiver burnout to understanding legal terms to making funeral arrangements. The book is filled with practical suggestions. For example, the author encourages communication between caregivers and their loved ones and provides openers for conversations and talking tips. She also offers lists of questions to ask pharmacists, doctors, and admissions directors of assisted living facilities.

Each chapter ends with lists of low-cost resources and relevant organizations (including addresses and Web sites), as well as an action checklist. The book also includes a lengthy chart to use to keep track of financial information and documents. While it is not the most comprehensive treatise on eldercare (there is almost no information on Medicaid, for example), The Complete Eldercare Planner provides many useful strategies and pointers to help a caregiver navigate the eldercare maze.