Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Of Books and Book Stands ...

I've learned so much in the last several years while being a caregiver ... which is why I started this blog back in 2008. I have lots and lots of resources that I want to share, but find I have so little time to write about them all.
So, let me just start here: If you are taking care of someone who is seriously ill or who is disabled and needs a lot of care, one of the best books that you can get is The Complete Bedside Companion: No Nonsense Advice on Caring for the Seriously Ill When I found my copy on sale for 25 cents at our local library's book sale, I had no idea that I'd actually be using it one day. This book contains a wealth of information that you won't find assembled together anywhere else ... from general advice on how to be a caregiver (such as turning a person in bed, giving bed baths, preventing pressure ulcers, etc), to separate sections for different ailments ... such as caring for a person with neurological disorders and strokes; cardiovascular problems; muscular problems; there's even a section on Alzheimer's disease and dementia. This book has it all! Truly, it's invaluable!!
As for many of the other books out there that are marketed for helping caregivers, I found most were not helpful at all. I purchased a TON (yes, I mean a TON) of books and not one of them gave me any of the practical help that The Complete Bedside Companion gave me.
I know, I know. You can't judge a book by its cover. When it comes to books about caring for elderly parents, if you think you are going to buy one, see if you can flip through a library copy or look for it on a shelf at your local Barnes and Noble before you plunk down your hard-earned cash. I purchased stacks and stacks of books, looking for that one that would have the perfect answers for me. Unfortunately, I can't recommend any of them beyond the Bedside Companion. No, not even one.
However, there is a book stand that I would highly recommend! My father, who is quite physically challenged, wanted to read in bed. His bed is a hospital bed. I tried rigging up many different things to make reading in bed a possibility for him. I tried an over-the-hospital-bed table, but it was too high and the flat top didn't work. Of course we tried many different book holders, but none of them really held the pages open ... and propped up on the table, they were far too high. I also tried a lap desk. This didn't work, as it was too low and the book kept sliding off the top. Complications from my father's stroke left him with a clenched left hand. Although he can move the thumb and forefinger, this doesn't really do an adequate job of keeping a book open ... and then, turning a page becomes quite a task.
FINALLY: I did an online search and found the most amazing thing: The Levo Book Holder Book Stand. It's available at many places on the web (here are a couple of  links: book stand, book stand 2)
Here's my Dad ... reading yet another of his favorite Civil War books ... you'll notice the stand can be adjusted to many different heights (right over the side rails!) and then the holder, itself, can be tilted to the appropriate angle. It came with a clip-on, battery-operated book light, which is great. See how the handy page holders work? This is a pretty thick book and yet, the pages can be held open quite well.
Here's the back view.
This has been an exceptional find. It was well worth the price. I might add that the stand is actually very heavy, but it comes on rollers.