Dr. Oliver Sacks passed away from cancer today, Sunday, August 29, 2015. He was a famous neurologist and author who enlightened the general populace on the experiences of those with neurological disorders and conditions. I remember reading "The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat" for a class in graduate school so that we could better understand the daily life experience of having perceptual and intellectual deficits. We used Dr. Sacks account to help us identify ways in which we, as occupational therapists, can assist patients and their caregivers in improving the patient's quality of life.
I wanted to take this moment, not only to take a bow to Dr. Oliver Sacks for his insightful, sympathetic, real, and often humorous accounts of life for the neurologically impaired, but also to all the caregivers out there. The ones who work hard caring for their loved ones and who still have the heart space to remain empathetic to their loved one's plight.
Being empathetic to someone who has a condition that you do not understand is hard, but maintaining that empathy over a long stretch of time often gets progressively harder. For those caregivers out there who care for someone with a chronic condition and are beginning to feel burnt out, check out the following books for a fresh dose of empathy. And on behalf of all those who are being cared for, thank you for your patience, kindness, caring, understanding, hope, and perseverance.
Are there any books that you would recommend to a caregiver who could use an empathy refresher to prevent burnout?