I am a firm believer in reading about a topic that you are dealing with, if you do not know anything about it or simply need to gain more knowledge and insight.
Having said that....pertaining to caregiving....books only take you to a point...you can only learn so much from them, the rest is on the job 'hands on (or in) learning.'
I know someone entering into this world of caring for a family member, who has books on caregiving, they believe they 'know' all there is to 'know' about it, you can't tell the individual anything about what to expect, what to plan and so on.
I am so glad they have all that information and everything is completely in order as they begin this journey.
That was being sarcastic in case you didn't pick up on that.
Are they kidding? I read books too! Do you want to know how much help they were these last 4 years? Maybe on a scale of 1-10, let's say a 2!
All the emotional changes, physical changes, attitude changes, mental changes, even spiritual changes...you can read about any of these in the myriad of caregiving books out there....but.....when you are in the middle of changing your mother's poop filled diaper.....you aren't going to remember the chapter, or the paragraph or the sentence, you aren't even going to remember the book that told you about this!
You come face to face with the reality of caregiving.
It is the point of no return....you're elbow deep in a commitment you made, and no one and no book can help you at that time, your help is going to come from within yourself and hopefully you can call on God for strength and grace to get you through that moment and all the moments to come!
Books, yes, read books...but that does not make a person an experienced caregiver, only the experiences of caring for an individual whether family or friend in such a capacity, will do that.