Book Review: The Daughter Trap

Yesterday, I posted my review of “The Daughter Trap,” written by Laurel Kennedy. As I mention in the review, I struggled with the book. I wondered: Is it just me?  So, I asked Bette, who cares for her mom, to read and review. My questions to her about the book and her answers follow. What resonates for you in the book?
Bette: I felt as though caregiving and our carees’ needs were talked about in a very antagonistic way, in a way that would discourage caregivers from caring, and move them away from the attachment and sacredness of family. Each interview focused on negative feelings, and all the information provided pointed to difficulties in caregiving. I anticipated that I would be offered solutions in the difficulties, but there were none.

I wish that Chapter 12 (It Takes You) had come first in “The Daughter Trap.” That was the area that briefly commended caregivers. It should have been sprinkled throughout. What surprised you about the book?
Bette: What surprised me was that someone could talk so negatively, both the author and the people who were interviewed, about caregiving and people that are in need.

I was surprised that this book was written while Ms. Kennedy was caring for her parents; I am sure that didn’t help her during that time. How did the book help you?
Bette: It made me realize how fortunate I am in what I do, and how important my attitude is that I portray to my caree (my mother).

It affirmed that caregivers are so special. Caregivers should be very proud of the devotion they have for their family member or friend. We also deserve some type of a “degree”, having moved through the difficulties Ms. Kennedy describes over and over. What insights helped you?
Bette: I liked hearing about options to come for the elderly. I particularly liked the “Green House Project”. This was an area that addressed the elderly as people. “Green House” seemed to addresses the importance of community and the human spirit. The elderly are given many “says” in their community living situation. What parts, if any, did you disagree with?
Bette: I did not like the tone of the book. It spoke derogatively about those in need. I wish it had been set up differently, giving caregivers the compliments that they so deserve, and carees the respect and empathy that they deserve. Who would you recommend read the book?
This book would be better suited for lawyers, and politicians. I don’t know how this would be of help in caregiving, although Ms. Kennedy suggests it was written for caregivers as well. Would you rate the book as Keepers (recommended) or Jeepers (not recommended)?
Bette: Definitely Jeepers. We really need to work on building caregivers up so meeting family and friends’ needs is encouraged versus discouraged. There are so many aspects of caregiving that involve feelings, sometimes the “business” attitude has to be put aside.


About Denise

I began working with family caregivers in 1990 and launched in 1996 to help and support them. Through my blog, I share words of comfort and offer coping strategies and tips. I also write opinion pieces about recent research, community programs and media coverage of caregiving issues. I've written several caregiving books, including "The Caregiving Years, Six Stages to a Meaningful Journey," "Take Comfort, Reflections of Hope for Caregivers" and "After Caregiving Ends, A Guide to Beginning Again." You can purchase my books and schedule a coaching call with me in our store.

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