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AND THOU SHALT HONOR: The Caregiver's Companio, Rodale Books, 445 pages, $24.95, available October 2002. AND THOU SHALT HONOR ... Caring for our Aging Parents,Spouses and Friends, Two-hour PBS special premiering Oct. 9. Check local listings.

September 23, 2002|Jane E. Allen

OVERVIEW: PBS and Rodale Press, the publishers of Prevention Inc., have teamed up to shine a light on the tremendous struggles of the 30 million caregivers across America who are risking their own health and livelihoods while tending to elderly and sick relatives. They're releasing the documentary along with a companion book and have set up a Web site, www.thoushalthonor.org, to draw attention to the problem and direct people to sources of help.

WHAT WORKS: The documentary is a bit preachy, hammering home points about the inadequacy of current health care services for the elderly and disabled, as well as the lack of support services for their caregivers. However, it presents compelling stories of families struggling because the caregivers feel they have no choice morally or financially but to tend to their loved ones themselves.

The companion book is more useful, offering good, practical help for those in such straits, including legal pointers, illustrations of hands-on care and suggestions for preventing caregiver burnout.

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