Caring for a parent or spouse whose health is in decline, or a child with special needs, can turn the world upside down. The emotional fallout can be devastating, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Empathic guidance from an expert who’s been there can help. Barry Jacobs, PsyD, has studied family caregiving and counseled caregivers for many years. His no-nonsense advice, The Emotional Survival Guide for Caregivers, helps family members navigate tough decisions and make the most of their time together as they care for an aging parent, a spouse, or a child with special needs. This edition of A Caring Place features an important conversation with Dr. Jacobs about caregivers being honest about the level of commitment they’re able to make. He speaks of tasks that all should attend to during their caregiving experience. He emphasizes the need for clear communication with each other in the family unit, and the importance of involving siblings, in-laws and significant others. While acknowledging their guilt, stress, and fatigue, he helps caregivers reaffirm emotional connections worn thin by the routine of daily care.
Bio- Program guest Barry Jacobs, PsyD is a clinical psychologist, family therapist and author of the book, The Emotional Survival Guide for Caregivers- Looking After Yourself and Your Family While Helping an Aging Parent(Guilford, 2006). Dr. Jacobs is one of the nation’s leading thinkers, writers, and educators about family caregiving. He serves on the AARP’s Caregivers Advisory Panel, is the spokesperson on family caregiving for the American Heart Association, and served on the American Psychological Association’s Presidential Task Force on Caregiving that produced the Caregiver Briefcase website. He has haled adjunct faculty positions at Temple University School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, and the Institute for Clinical Psychology of Widener University.