Review of AARP’s “Meditations for Caregivers”

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Dr. James D. Huysman

Caregiving / / August 18, 2016

Culled from their personal caregiving journeys and respective client files, Barry J. Jacobs, PsyD and Julia L. Mayer, PsyD have created a gem of a book. Meditations for Caregivers pulls no punches with regard to the challenges that caregivers face. Presented in a series of 28 topical sections with parable-like vignettes, each is easily readable, thoughtful and inspirational.

Dr.  Jacob’s expert storytelling is front and center, as noted in his first book, The Emotional Survival Guide for Caregivers - Looking After Yourself and Your Family While Helping an Aging Parent, Released in 2006, it followed the caregiving journey of two fictional sisters and their Mother, who has cancer to much acclaim.  


Dr. Mayer made her mark with her 2014 novel about relationships, A Fleeting State of Mind.


Together, they have created a poignant handbook of practical solutions for all health professionals who come into contact with senior patients, as well as any family member who may end up as either a caregiver or a caree.

I love this book!  It skillfully lays out the human dilemma encountered in dealing with aging and illness.  Emotional and instructive, it is an excellent read from start to finish and valuable by topic or random page.  A perfect conversation starter for those difficult subjects we would rather avoid…but cannot put off any longer.

Meditations for Caregivers celebrates humanity at its best, illustrating once again the notion that caregiving is not one-sided.  It works best when there is mutual respect and understanding of the other’s needs.  And in the end, we are all fragile and resilient at once and the depth and breadth of life are best shared with each other.

Available in paperback online and at fine booksellers.

Categories: Caregiving
About The Author
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James D “Dr. Jamie” Huysman, PsyD, LCSW is well-known for his work fiercely advocating on behalf of family and professional caregivers. From running a national caregiver support foundation, contributing to the AARP Foundation/NASW’s collective “New Guidelines for Caregivers of Older Adults” and co-authoring “Take Your Oxygen First”, to his expert videos on Caregiver Connections for UHC TV, he is a champion of behavioral health and a patient-centered medical culture that is prepared to meet the needs of those they serve.  A popular speaker, he works as VP of Provider Relations and Government Affairs for WellMed Medical Management.

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