Rochester author and caregiving expert Harriet Hodgson has released two new books with three more in the works. “The Family Caregiver’s Guide” and “Affirmations for Family Caregivers” are the first two books in an anticipated five-book series published by WriteLife Publishing.


Guide for Care Providers

“The Family Caregiver’s Guide,” first in the series, is a go-to guide for care providers. It is written to assist in understanding some of the major issues that caregivers may experience and that most people don’t consider when taking on the role of care provider.  

“Caregiving is a very demanding role, and there are lots of details that hit you all at the same time,” Hodgson explains. In the guide, Hodgson introduces some of the concerns that caretakers might encounter, such as the different sizes of hospital beds and the necessity of having crutches and canes properly fit for the user.

Population of Caregivers

According to Hodgson’s research, 65.7 million Americans (an estimated 20 percent of the adult population) served as caregivers for an ill or disabled family member last year.

“A lot of people don’t realize they’re caregivers,” Hodgson says. She explains that the role includes those who do weekly grocery shopping, drive to and from doctor appointments or even just stop in occasionally to clean the house or mow the lawn. All are considered caregivers. 

Hodgson has worn many caregiving hats: first as a mother to her own children, then as the guardian of her twin grandchildren at the deaths of their parents and now as caregiver to her husband.

Because of her experiences, all of Hodgson’s books are short by design. She explains that those who provide care to others often are limited on time. Her books are designed with short passages and chapters, allowing the reader to begin and end quickly.

Hodgson even dedicates a chapter to the care receiver and acknowledges her husband as the inspiration for some of her writing. “He’s had many physical challenges, and I admired his courage,” Hodgson says.

Affirmations and a Journal

“Affirmations for Family Caregivers,” second in the series, is a brief one hundred pages of the author’s original quotes for meditation. She explains that the brevity is designed to give the reader a quick and upbeat reminder to help lift their spirits and move forward with a positive attitude.

“A Journal for Family Caregivers,” third in the series, is set to release on March 12, 2016 and will differ from other, more traditional journals. In her extensive research, Hodgson found that most journals begin with a question, which suggests a lengthy or thought-provoking answer is needed. She decided to deviate from this norm to eliminate lengthy reading and writing sessions for the reader, thus freeing up more time.

“I decided to start [by providing a] sentence about caregiving and having the reader finish the sentence,” says Hodgson. At the end is an action step intended to give the caregiver a plan for moving forward. The intent is to give the caregiver a helpful prompt that can be completed in only moments, yet gives them something to ponder throughout the day.

“The Family Caregiver’s Guide” and “Affirmations for Family Caregivers” are available at major bookstores, online and in e-book format. Both would make a thoughtful holiday gift for someone currently in a caretaking role.

For more information about Hodgson and her books, visit harriethodgson.com.

Catherine H. Armstrong is a 1992 graduate of the University of Oklahoma.  Her first novel, “The Edge of Nowhere,” will release on January 19, 2016 under the pen name C.H. Armstrong. For more information, visit charmstrongbooks.com.