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, PhD, women will find the support and tools they need to get through this stressful time with compassion while keeping themselves emotionally whole.
Since caring for an ill husband has traditionally been seen as a “wifely duty,” the caregiving role becomes especially complex when the husband is dying of a long-term illness. Every day brings a new set of challenges, demands, adjustments, and often unwelcome changes. It is a time when support and clear thinking are desperately needed — and this book can help!
As the primary caregiver for her husband for over ten years, Dr. 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.
Dr. 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.
Receiving five-star reviews on Amazon.com, Dr. Denholm was also recently featured in a lengthy article in the New York Times and her timely book is a finalist for the ForeWord book of the Year, drawing much-needed attention to a critical issue that affects millions of women yet is hardly ever discussed or explored in social discussion or in the media.
The Caregiving Wife’s Handbook addresses sensitive issues with insight and directness and offers clear-headed solutions. The 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 are practical and empower women to bring more balance, free time and even fun into their lives.
Diana Denholm, PhD, LMHC, holds a doctorate in psychology, is a board-certified medical psychotherapist, and has been in private practice for over thirty years. She has pioneered many of the communication and self-care tools she shares in this book and she has used these methods successfully with her many clients.