New Book by NH Journalist and Caregiver Offers Lively Look at Home Caregiving; Around the House; Peter E. Randall Publisher

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This collection of daily musings by wife, caregiver, and journalist allows a glimpse into the life of home caregiving

In "Around the House," caregivers and those who love them will find solace accessible through short daily readings from a woman who knows how to love, laugh and care for others. Author, journalist and caregiver Harriet Swenson spent six years caring for her “first-class, second husband,” David Swenson, of the Swenson Granite Works family, as he slowly succumbed to a terminal illness. Their devoted love story is not uncommon, but Harriet brings wonderful humor and meditative wisdom to this collection of short, daily readings, and the result is an accessible, joyful approach to this difficult experience.

A recent review from The Caregiver's Voice calls it, "An inspiring, enjoyable, and enlightening account of a New England widow... Swenson’s book gives us hope that it’s never too late to live a life worth living."

Harriet had cared for her first husband in his last illness, and so was aware of what she would be facing when David was diagnosed. She also realized that many Americans remain unaware of what will be required of them as family members age and decline, which led her to publish her experiences. Says Harriet of her motivation to write "Around the House," “I wanted people to have hope, to have the truth and to have a laugh if at all possible.”

Harriet captures the blunt truth of her caregiving role, including its highs and lows. She brings us up close to her days with David, an extraordinary man in his own right. She recalls many moments, such as the day she had to tell David he could not drive any longer, her own joy musing over the beauty of a sunny window, the solace of quilting, and the importance of napping.

Additionally, Harriet wants to help others face reality. Caring for and keeping an ill spouse at home is often due to economic necessity. The National Alliance for Caregiving stated in their March 2009 report of family caregivers, “Family caregivers are the foundation of long-term care nationwide exceeding Medicaid long-term care spending in all states… The value of the services family caregivers provide for ‘free,’ when caring for older adults, is estimated to be $375 billion a year. That is almost twice as much as is actually spent on homecare and nursing home services combined ($158 billion).” (

Harriet K. Swenson is a former Addison-Wesley staffer, a columnist for NH Profiles magazine, and the author of two previous titles, "Visible and Vital: A Handbook for the Aging Congregation," and "50 Meditations." Swenson has cared for two terminal husbands, with "Around the House" focusing on the care of the second, David Swenson, a geologist and a member of the Swenson Granite Works of Concord, NH family. She is mother to three children and grandmother to five and great-grandmother to four. She naps with her cat Mildred in Durham, NH.

Publication date for "Around the House: One Woman Shares How Millions Care" is May 10, 2015, Mother’s Day. The title is distributed to the trade by the University Press of New England: For more information, please contact Deidre Randall at Peter E. Randall Publisher (603-431-5667 or or visit the website:

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