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Review: The Caregiver’s Notebook by Jolene Philo

Posted by on March 17, 2015 in Read, Uncategorized | 12 comments

CGNotebookUSEDear Friends,

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 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

Find The Caregiver’s Notebook on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or at


  1. marti,

    I would love this book. As a caregiver to my mom, I would love a small book to tuck in my purse that I could carry with me and add notes in when I get those calls from dr., nurses, staff, etc. while out. I’m also part of a caregiver support group so I could share it as a resource for the group. Cheryl

    • Cheryl, thanks for your comment. I hope you’ll check it out (and recommend it) whether or not you win! Blessings to you in your caregiving journey.

  2. This book sounds like a great resource for caregivers. I was the caregiver for my husband as he recovered from a serious car accident. Currently, my sister is the main caregiver and the three of us children all pitch in to help with Mom’s care. A book such as this would be invaluable in all of us being up to date on doctor info, medication info and care direction.

    • Thanks so much for your comment, Rhonda. You’re entered to win the book, and I agree–it would be a valuable resource!

  3. I need to check this book out for myself! Sounds like a great resource for us. I currently just have a drawer that I throw everything important in…

    • It would be indeed, Ashley. And make sure you check out Jolene’s comment below. Wouldn’t that (an app) be cool?!

  4. Thanks for the great review, Marti. FYI–The publisher has plans to create a Caregiver’s Notebook phone/tablet app at some future date! Won’t that be a win-win?

    • It sure will! I think that would be the best idea ever (besides the great book)! Thanks for sharing, Jolene. I know so many who could use this resource!

  5. I would love to win this book for myself. I am a stay at home mom that homeschoola my special needs daughter. She was just discharged from the hospital for spine surgery. This book would be great to get organized with all the appointments and therapies as well as medication schedules. Thanks for the chance!

    • You’re entered to win, Tiffany. Thanks for your comment, and I agree–the book would be a valuable asset. I’ll be praying for your daughter’s recovery, too!

  6. This is exactly what I need! Way too many appts and an up coming surgery. I need to keep everything in one place and I think this is just what I need. Thank u for the chance to win!


    • Brandy, Thanks for the comment, but the contest ended at midnight on March 19. I’ll announce the winner on tomorrow’s post. I hope you’ll look for the book anyway!

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