Friday, December 19, 2014

The Caregiver's Notebook

A few months ago, I was given an opportunity to review a notebook designed to organize information for the caregiver of a special needs child or chronically ill person.  I loved the idea and wanted to see what the end product looked like, so I agreed.

I received The Caregiver's Notebook while Abby was in the hospital (timely!) and was so impressed with the thought that was put into this book.  The author, Jolene Philo, really included everything a caregiver could possible need!  I wish I'd had this notebook when I first started out on our special needs journey.

The notebook is separated with tabs and includes emergency information, a calendar, a list of meds, contact info, medical history, insurance, legal documents, and schedules.  And there's A LOT of space!  This is almost always an issue for us when we fill out medical forms for Abby.  "See attached sheet" is pretty much always written!

What I like most though is the encouragement this book gives.  Sprinkled throughout are Bible verses and inspirational quotes.  Jolene even included a Bible reading plan and a prayer guide that both are tailored for caregivers!

In working with Jolene to promote this book, I was able to find out some additional information behind the writing of The Caregiver's Notebook:

Why did you write The Caregivers Notebook?

Ill answer that question two ways. First, I wrote it because I understand what its like to be a long term caregiver. My father was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1959 when he was 29. So early in their marriage, my mother became a caregiver. My siblings and I were caregivers from childhood until 1997 when Dad died. I also know what its like to care for a child with special needs. Our son was born in 1982 with a condition that required immediate surgery to save his life. By the time he was 5, hed had 7 surgeries and countless medical procedures. He had a final surgery at age 15. Hes on his own and doing well now. However, my mother was diagnosed with early stage Alzheimers a few years ago, so I am now part of her caregiving team. All those experiences have impressed upon me the importance of organizational tools for caregivers.

The second reason for writing the book is that Discovery House Publishers (DHP), the house that published my Different Dream books for parents of kids with special needs, asked if I was interested in creating an organizational notebook for caregivers that also addressed their spiritual needs. I jumped at the chance.

What kind of caregivers can use The Caregivers Notebook?

Because of my varied experiences as a caregiver, the notebook is designed to fit a wide variety of situations while caring for loved ones of all ages. It can be used by adult children caring for aging parents or spouses caring for partners living with disability or illness. Parents caring for babies, toddlers, young children, and teens with special needs can also use it, as can parents of typical children from birth to age 3. Its useful for parents caring for adult children with special needs. Senior citizens in good health who want to have their affairs in order for whoever will care for them in case of an accident or sudden illness. In fact, my husband and I are each completing one, though we are both in excellent health. We think of the completed notebook as a gift to give to each other, if one of us becomes ill, or as a gift to our kids should something happen to both of us.

Where can The Caregivers Notebook be found?


Its available for purchase in bookstores. If a bookstore doesnt have it in stock, they can order it. One way to order online is through the publisher at www.dhp.org. Or to go to my website, DifferentDream.com. Open  the Buy the Booktab and click on the link for The Caregivers Notebook. That leads to the Amazon link. The notebook can also be ordered through Barnes & Noble and Christian Book Distributors (CBD).

Parents of special needs children, if you are needing some help getting organized, The Caregiver's Notebook for you!  It's a wonderful resource.

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