The essential book on elder care for families

More 5 star reviews

Jo Robertson

 I really don’t think you will find a more comprehensive and relevant book about this subject than The Essential Family Guide to Caring for Older People.  It’s packed full of every single piece of information you need such as Lasting Power of Attorney and why it’s so important to have it in place, help for carers, information on different medical conditions, keeping older people in contact with the outside world, dietary guidelines and so very much more. Everything has been thoroughly researched and is cross referenced with website addresses for a more comprehensive information on each separate issue. There are also top tips (such as freezing bread in smaller portions so an older person always has bread available but doesn’t waste a full loaf) and real life case studies to relate to.

I was also given food for thought about my own future regarding wills and our own finances in the long term. I’ve not even thought about my own retirement yet and how our financial situation will also be changing accordingly. My children may be older and have children of their own but I still don’t feel grown up enough to be a grandparent and be facing retirement! But I have to start facing facts that someday my children will need this information for me and my husband, and when they do I hope that an updated version of this book will be available for them. It’s an in-depth, inclusive guide that you don’t want to think about reading but please don’t leave it till you REALLY need it! Be prepared now and you will be able to handle anything life throws at you with this book by your side.

Very highly recommended by me!


What an absolute gem of a book this is. I will certainly be keeping it on hand to dip into from time to time. Written in plain English and easy to understand, the book is well laid out and has cross referencing for when a subject is repeated or crosses over into another area. It also gives links to helpful websites. I liked that the first chapter is "What to do if you need help NOW". The rest you can read later on.

This book is not only useful for caring for older people, it's useful for those who are getting a little older too. Not much fun to read about all the things that can happen to you as you age, but great to be aware and know what to do or not to do as the case may be. Much of the book resonated with me. There are reminders about keeping calm, especially for instance when an older relative can't hear you.

I found the "How to register a death section" very insightful. I have done this in the past but as it was over 20 years ago a lot has changed. For one thing you need a lot more copies of the death certificate these days. This section is a useful reference tool and helpful when you may not be at your best to think of everything that needs to be done. 

As well as covering the visible signs of aging there is a section on mental health, anxiety and depression which is important. Not all symptoms are visible and this is a good reference to read and digest.

I am giving this book 5 out of 5 stars. It's certainly one for the reference shelf either to help others or if you are over 55 yourself. My thanks to #LoveBooksTours for a copy to review.

You can buy your copy at


It’s one of those books that you pick up and start reading through – and look up and realise that you’ve been nodding and agreeing with it for much longer than you were aware of. If you don’t know already, I’m a huge fan of non-fiction and love choosing new subjects, particularly in Non-Fiction November!

Britain has an ageing population and this book will come in incredibly useful if you are involved in the care of elderly people – whether that’s from the perspective of a family member or in a professional capacity. It never comes across as worthy or patronising – it’s just full of little nuggets of practical advice from the perspective of someone who’s definitely ‘been there’

Deborah Stone is clear-eyed and practical at all times and there is a strand of true kindness and empathy running through the heart of this invaluable guide to looking after people who are older than they used to be – but still deserve to be treated as people – first and foremost – rather than problems to be solved or responsibilities to be juggled.

I absolutely recommend Deborah’s book as a compassionate and well-researched ‘bible’ for anyone seeking advice on supporting their elderly friends or family members too. It reads like getting advice from a caring and experienced friend and ensures that you’ll be able to put many of its sound suggestions and tried and tested pieces of advice into practice.


I purchased this book for help and advice on my elderly mother who can be quite challenging. It is highly informative, well researched and very comprehensive. Having bought other books in this genre, this is head and tails above anything else on the market. It is full of helpful ideas and practical tips. Save yourself time and energy and buy a copy! 

Welsh Annie

I really liked this book – it’s practical, it’s realistic both about what’s available and the hurdles along the way, and it presents a vast amount of usable information in a digestible and accessible format. I liked the way that information was organised: the first chapter, “What to do if you need help NOW” provides a quick gallop through the content, full of links to more in-depth information and relevant websites, and there’s also a comprehensive alphabetical index at the back of the book. I read the book from cover to cover, which others are unlikely to do – and the book really is designed as a resource for carers to dip into for key information.

The tone and voice of the author was spot-on – there’s a particular empathy with the carer and their need for personal support (and where to get it), the occasional anecdote (personal experience, and that of others), and an acknowledgement of the fact that some aspects will be difficult. Fair to say, I think, that there’s nothing particularly new here – all the information included is available via the plethora of websites out there targeted at the elderly and their carers, but this book would certainly make finding it rather less of an uphill struggle. 

I’m happy to recommend this book, particularly to those with less established caring experience. Over the years, I’ve found the information I’ve needed through many hours of searching the internet, comparing sources of information, discussing issues in chat rooms and groups: anything that makes that quest rather easier, and holds your hand along the way, can only be commended. 

Sinem Klinic

My Nan needs care and I have struggled to find the right practical help. This book is a godsend and has everything I need to know and more. Highly recommended. 


Super helpful & informative book... Really is a must for anyone looking after elderly parents!.. So many issues covered that I’ve personally fretted over without knowing the true facts.. Definitely my go-to book at the moment! 

Maureen Moyes

I was interested in this due to having been a full time carer to my mother and then having to deal with her passing. I did it all without much idea what to do next and I got through it. Now I have read this book I wish so much that I had something like this a few years ago as it would have made dealing with the practical side much easier. Following on from my mothers passing I was soon diagnosed with a brain tumour which is located deep within my brain and therefore I am learning to live with it knowing that any biopsy or treatment would do more damage than help me on my journey. This book is a godsend when I am therefore looking at my future options.

Okay, enough about me and why I wanted to read it... on to the book itself! I found the book to be very well researched giving an extensive thorough guide full of practical ideas and pointers. I don't think there is any other book out there that contains as much relevant information on this subject. It is clear that everything in this book has been fully researched and there are even website suggestions for further information. As someone who is now living alone I found many on the top tips very helpful for me on a day-to-day basis and not just older people. I wish I could share this book with everyone - it is helpful for anyone facing ill health of themselves, their friends and families. Please go buy a copy - you will find so much useful information in this book.  

Joanna Park


As people are living longer than ever before the need for elderly care is becoming more important than ever. The Essential Family Guide To Caring For Older People is therefore a very timely read.

This book runs through everything you may need to know about caring for an older friend or relative, from the Do and Don’ts of how to deal with a frail person to the more practical side of things such as where to get further help from. These are all set out into easy to navigate sections and the tone is very easy to read with not a lot of jargon used which can be off putting. There is also an index at the back which will help readers to find the area they most want to read. The author has included when possible websites and charity’s that could provide more information or help if required which I think would be a very useful resource to have and might save lots of time trying to research on the internet. The author has included a little information about where carers could get help and support too which I thought was a nice touch.

This book is very in-depth and if read all at once, like I did, could make your head spin with all the information that this book includes. I do think that the author meant this book as a reference book which you could drip in and out of when needed rather than something you read at once. Some of the facts, like how much funding or benefits you could receive, might date quickly but I think could be easily researched online if needed.

I would recommend this book to someone who is just starting looking after an elderly relative or working in an elderly care setting as I think it would be invaluable.

Suzanne Korb

Helpful, informative and highly recommended.

Gill Ford

So many of us are struggling with elderly parents, searching for advice, hoping that we are doing the right thing.....
At last, a guide to help with care homes, with financial planning, with arranging a Power of Attorney. Stone clearly brings her own personal experience to this book, but her wealth of knowledge in the field is impressive, and the depth of research evident. I wish I had been able to rely on this guide a decade ago. Put this on your bookshelf now. You will use it. 

James Dilley

This is the book that anyone with elderly relatives has been waiting for. Ms. Stone breaks down in clear and sensitive words how best to approach this most complicated of issues, which is astonishingly under-discussed and underfunded in our society.

While there is an abundance of literature on caring for newborn babies and nurturing them through the early years of life, there is little to guide readers through the "second childhood", in Shakespeare's words, of old age. Stone's personal experience of elderly care is applied here with the expert knowledge of a sharp researcher, detailing in-depth the legal information, care funding options and mental health support available for those in need of guidance.

As our population ages, this is the book to lead millions of families into an open discussion of the challenges that elderly care can present to them. I heartily recommend it to anyone looking to better traverse those choppy waters and thank Ms. Stone for her passionate work in breaking down one of the trickiest and most complex areas of concern in our time. 


If you've got an oldie, buy it!

Todd Taylor

This is the book I could have used when my father’s health was failing. I was having to figure things out as they arose under stressful, unforeseen circumstances. Now with this book, as my mother and stepfather are becoming more dependant, I am more clued into available resources to help in the process of caring for  ageing parent.

Dr Susan Kahn

This is such a helpful book with so much useful information, from health and financial guidance to care and technology. The advice is invaluable.

Daisy Banks

This book really very essential, it covers so much topics that will guide us on how to handle situations more easier on caring our older love ones. Thank you Ms Deborah Stone-the author. I highly recommend this book. Please go grab a copy now.

Philippa Robinson 

This is a really excellent book - should be read by everyone with ageing relatives, or thinking ahead to one's own future. It is packed full of useful information and written in a style that is easily accessible and quickly referenced. There is lots of practical advice but also an appreciation of the emotional toll of growing older, both on the person involved and those around them.
It should be recommended by all GPs to their patients and families.

Tara Cowan

I found this book very informative and helpful for a situation we all will face but never take the time to plan for. Particularly useful, I thought, were the sections on aspects of caring for older people which recommend taking care of you, something a lot of us don’t think of, but of course, we can’t be the best carers if we’re not mentally and physically healthy, too.

Stone also takes on the family drama which can arise during the on-going illnesses of our loved ones and gives useful tips on how to navigate that. She considers legal ramifications and gives you a roadmap for the health care system (the book is U.K.-specific, but a lot of it can be applied in the U.S. as well), discusses how important it is to plan ahead while the older relative is still healthy, and brings up important financial planning as well. The personal stories, too, were particularly meaningful, and will help carers feel that they are not alone.

Stone also offers tangible advice on keeping older people engaged and occupied so they don’t feel bored or lonely, as well as an explanation of many of the ailments and diseases that often trouble older people and how to cope with them. The practical aspects such as the emergency care forms, tips on keeping your relative safe from accidental harm, and what to look for when scoping out a good care home will give carers real, viable help. Highly recommended for any family!!  

Alan Nevies

As an osteopath, I see many clients who are either older themselves or who have older relatives. This book is so comprehensive and practical in terms of the advice it offers that I will suggest that everyone buys a copy. The book covers every aspect of ageing and caring. I will find it personally helpful, as I care for my mother, who is in her nineties. It is enormously useful and I recommend it highly.

Mrs M

Such an informative book and a pleasure to read! Would definitely recommend to all who care for elderly people or want to broaden their knowledge on the subject. It is extremely well written and covers so many more topics compared to similar books. Great read!