memoir / nonfiction

Already Toast: Caregiving and Burnout in America by Kate Washington

I heard about Already Toast: Caregiving and Burnout in America by Kate Washington because she is a (former?) food writer and recipe developer and we must at least share some twitter friends. I was also interested because I ended up being the person in charge of my mother’s health care and then quickly, end of life and hospice care. She handled everything for my dad so I am now in that role. Luckily he is very active and can live alone and care for himself but he does have a lot of health issues and Covid-19 has not not helped. I don’t quite feel burnt out now (I didn’t provide hands on care for my mother) but it is mentally exhausting trying to run two households at once.

I found this book to be very well written and conversational but much more of a personal memoir of caregiving with some statistics added in than I was expecting. She also made some detours into caregiving in literature which was interesting and enjoyable but also not quite what I expected from the subtitle which suggested a much broader focus. She’s really been through it with her husband’s sudden deterioration of health and is very frank and honest about her struggles. I wish she had just decided to write a memoir, I still would have read it, because I don’t think what is in the book, though interesting really encompasses what the description and subtitle suggest. There is no real call to action either. I did appreciate her candor about her extreme privilege during all of this.

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