Review: The Caregiver’s Notebook by Jolene Philo
It’s been a while since I posted a book review, so I hope you enjoy this one. I know so many authors and others in the publishing industry that I stopped posting reviews on bookseller sites a while ago, but I still review books occasionally on my blog. I also post “Words with Friends” interviews so you can get to know the books and authors I love.
I haven’t met Jolene Philo, the author of The Caregiver’s Notebook: An Organizational Tool and Support to Help You Care for Others (Discovery House, 2014) personally, but she and I both belong to AWSA (Advanced Writers and Speakers Association) and the Christian Authors Network. The title and concept of her book intrigued me, and I was delighted to take a closer look.
Chances are that if you’re an adult in 2015, you are or you know someone (probably more than one someone) who serves as a caregiver. With the graying of America come additional responsibilities to care for a parent(s), spouse, disabled child, or others who need special assistance because of physical and/or mental disabilities. And that means you know someone who needs this book.
In The Caregiver’s Notebook, Jolene Philo does an amazing job of pulling together resources, records, and refreshment in the form of multiple ideas for caregivers in one compact place. The spiral-bound book (it lies flat–an asset when filling out pages) has fifteen tabs, including “Contacts,’ “Calendar,” “Medications,” “Insurance Information,” and “Routines and Schedules,” among others. Although I’m not a caregiver at present, I watched my mother serve as my father’s caregiver for several years, and I have had several friends in this situation. Since caregivers’ lives are already so full, I understand the need to collect and organize much of the information related to caregiving in one easy-access place.
Each tabbed section begins with instructions (sometimes short, sometimes longer) about how to use the pages that follow. Also included are tips from fellow caregivers, Scripture verses and other inspirational quotes, and small but vital takeaway points labeled as “Stress Relievers.” As you can tell, Jolene knows the needs of caregivers well. In fact, I believe the author herself is the book’s greatest asset. The wisdom gained from her many years of past and present caregiving experience both informed and inspired this valuable tool.
One concern I have with the book is its small size (approximately 6.5 x 9.5”). Although convenient, its compact nature left me wondering about storage for the many additional medical and other forms that seem to accompany caregiving. However, the book’s final section provides potential assistance. It highlights another website of hers, which includes links to organizational resources, downloadable forms, and other helps for caregivers. That in part answered my other concern with The Caregiver’s Notebook, which is whether an electronic format might be helpful. In our world of digital storage, I wonder how many of the book’s pages might be more helpful if available in an electronic format that could easily be printed, copied, and/or shared. But the additional website resources help cover that concern.
In any case, The Caregiver’s Notebook is a practical and inspirational tool designed to assist, inform, and inspire the many who serve as caregivers. I’m pleased to recommend it, and I’d love to share my review copy with someone who needs it. If you’re a caregiver, or you know someone who is, feel free to leave a comment below by midnight EST Thursday, March 19, and tell us about the person who needs the book. I’ll use random.org to choose a winner and send the book sometime soon (U.S. addresses only, please).
Watch for a “Words with Friends” Interview with Jolene Philo soon, and be sure to check out her book using one or more of the links below.
(FTC Disclaimer: I received an electronic copy of this book free from the publisher. I was not required to post a review or a positive response.)
Find The Caregiver’s Notebook at a local Christian bookstore