Building Better Caregivers

A Family Caregiver's Guide to Reducing Stress and Staying Healthy

Kate Lorig, DrPH, Diana Laurent, MPH, Robert Schreiber, MD Maureen Gecht-Silver, OTD. MPH, OTR/L Dolores Gallagher Thompson, PhD, ABPP Marian Minor, RPT, PhD Virginia González, MPH David Sobel, MD, MPH Danbi Lee, PhD, OTD, OTR/L

Paperback Price: $17.56 List Price: $21.95 (save 20%) ISBN: 9781945188169
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Estimated delivery date: November 25 – November 27 eBooks and MP3 Audio files are available for download on purchase. Questions?

CAREGIVING IS STRESSFUL. Taking on the role of the caregiver is often not part of our life plan, but today more than 40 million adults in the U.S. find ourselves responsible for the care of a family member or friend.

Building Better Caregivers, developed by the author team who wrote the international bestseller Living a Healthy Life with Chronic Conditions, features the best practices and most recent research and expertise in the field of caregiving. Based on research-proven self-management practices, which were developed in studies conducted at the Stanford University School of Medicine, this book shares the crucial information and skills that the authors have learned from thousands of people just like you–people who care for a family member or friend on a regular basis.

With a focus on reducing stress through the use of practical skills and tools, Building Better Caregivers helps you manage your caregiving tasks so you can maintain a happy, fulfilling life for you and your care partner.


  • Improving caregiver stress
  • Dealing with difficult emotions
  • Addressing difficult care partner behaviors
  • Keeping you and your care partner safe and avoiding injury and accidents
  • Decision-making about treatment, housing, and outside help
  • Communicating effectively with family, friends, and health professionals
  • Exercising for caregiver and care partner safety, strength, flexibility, and endurance
  • Maintaining healthy nutrition habits
  • Navigating legal issues related to caregiving

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 - Introduction: A Blueprint for Better Caregiving 

Chapter 2 - Becoming a Better Caregiver: The Basics 

Chapter 3 - Dealing with Stress and Difficult Care Partner Behavior 

Chapter 4 - Dealing with Difficult Emotions 

Chapter 5 - Using Your Mind to Manage Stress 

Chapter 6 - Communicating Effectively 

Chapter 7 - Getting Help 

Chapter 8 - Preventing Injuries 

Chapter 9 - Exercising for Health and Wellness 

Chapter 10 - Healthy Eating 

Chapter 11 - Understanding Your Care Partner’s Illness 

Chapter 12 - Managing Medication 

Chapter 13 - Making Treatment Decisions 

Chapter 14 - Planning for the Future: Fears and Reality

About the Author

Kate Lorig, DrPH, is professor emerita at Stanford University School of Medicine and a partner in the Self-Management Resource Center (SMRC). As director of the Stanford Patient Education Research Center she was a co-developer of the Building Better Caregiver Program. For 20 years, Kate watched her mother care for her father, who was severely disabled by a stroke.

Diana Laurent, MPH, is a health educator and partner in the Self-Management Resource Center. During her over 30 years at Stanford School of Medicine, she co-developed the Building Better Caregivers educational program, as well as several other educational programs. Diana was and is a caregiver of her parents and in-laws; she also has experience in participating in the care of with relatives who have dementia.

Rob Schreiber, MD, is a board-certified geriatrician/internist and the Vice President/Medical Director of Summit ElderCare, the largest PACE (Program of All Inclusive Care for Elders) Program in Massachusetts. Previously, he was the Physician-in-Chief at Hebrew SeniorLife in Boston, Massachusetts and on the faculty of Harvard Medical School for over 20 years. Rob has been a caregiver for his parents, as well as multiple other elderly family members and actively works with caregivers in his role at Summit ElderCare.

Maureen Gecht-Silver, OTD, MPH, OTR/L, is an assistant professor of clinical family medicine and occupational therapy at University of Illinois at Chicago. In her clinical and academic roles, she has worked towards improving self-management skills and quality of life for people with chronic conditions and disabilities as well as their caregivers. Maureen, along with her sisters, was a caregiver for her father, who lived to age 98.

Dolores Gallagher Thompson, PhD, ABPP, is board-certified in clinical psychology and geropsychology and is professor emerita at Stanford University School of Medicine and co-director of the Optimal Aging Center in Los Altos, California. She has 30 years of experience in conducting funded intervention research with family caregivers and worked directly with caregivers in her clinical practice at Stanford. Dolores entered this field after being a long-distance caregiver for her mother who suffered multiple strokes before her death; at that time few resources for caregiving families were available and her experience shaped her subsequent career choices.

Marian Minor, PT, MSPH, PhD, is a professor emerita at the University of Missouri School of Health Professions where she taught and did research on exercise. She has contributed exercise information for self-management education for a variety of populations. Marian has been a caregiver herself and has supported other caregivers for many years.

Virginia González, MPH, is a health educator and partner in the Self-Management Resource Center (SMRC). She has over 15 years of experience working at the Stanford School of Medicine, where she was a co-developer of various self-management programs and was instrumental in the cultural adaptation and Spanish translation of these programs for Latino/Hispanic communities. After leaving Stanford and before becoming a partner in SMRC, Virginia was raising her children, while caring for her aging, chronically ill parents and in-laws. She also has personal experience with caring for extended family members with dementia and mental illness.

David Sobel, MD, MPH, is adjunct lecturer in the Department of Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine. As the medical director of Patient Education and Health Promotion for Kaiser Permanente Northern California, he has developed and evaluated programs to serve over five million Kaiser members. In addition, to assisting in the car of both his parents during their 90s, David is currently helping to manage the care for a family member with advanced dementia.

Danbi Lee, PhD, OTD, OTR/L, is an assistant professor in the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine at University of Washington in Seattle, Washington. Her work is focused on improving the experiences of people with disabilities and their caregivers as they transition into meaningful community activities and roles after rehabilitation. Danbi has personal experience supporting family members with dementia and stroke.


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