Sherri Snelling Focuses on Self-Care for Caregivers in Two Helpful Guides

Sherri Snelling books

By Sherri Snelling, California, US

When I began working in the area of family caregiving 20 years ago, little did I know this career choice would lead to my passion and purpose in life. As a high school and college student, I had been a back-up caregiver to my mom who was caring for my maternal grandparents. I recognized my mom’s need for a break, so I would sit and talk with my grandparents, prepare their meals, and help them eat, take them to the movies, watch the “Lawrence Welk Show” on TV, or go to a baseball game and feel grateful I could help. We had actually lived with my grandparents for two years when I was a child, ages 6-8, after my parent’s divorce. This is where my grandmother instilled in me a love for her passion – writing – and for the 1930’s movies of Hollywood’s golden era. My grandfather, who played the violin, gave me my passion for music and baseball. They created a magical haven for my brother and me, and helping them out now that they were older was just natural and something I was grateful to do.

What I did not realize at that time is I was part of the vast national volunteer army known as family caregivers – 53 million strong today. I never used that word to identify myself nor my mother. But after spending a decade, beginning in 2004, working on programs to support family caregivers in the workplace, caregiving was part of my psyche and became part of my mission to help bring more support to our nation’s caregivers, both personally and professionally.

Sherri Snelling, A Cast of Caregivers and Me Time MondayI wrote my first book, A Cast of Caregivers – Celebrity Stories to Help You Prepare to Care, in 2013 as a response to something I heard throughout my years working with family caregivers: “I feel all alone.” I thought if I could show how even those in our society with all the financial resources at their fingertips still found navigating the healthcare system daunting and did not know where to turn or how to maintain balance in life, then I could help all caregivers see we are all in this together. I also used these celebrity stories as hooks to get caregivers interested in the book which was a primer on “what to expect when caregiving” and how to find a self-care routine that works.

A colleague of mine said the book was dead on arrival because I would never get celebrities to share their stories with me. But gratefully, Joan Lunden, Holly Robinson Peete, Marg Helgenberger, Alan and David Osmond, Jill Eikenberry and Michael Tucker, Sylvia Mackey, and Alana Stewart Hamilton did talk to me and became my cast of caregivers stories. Knowing caregivers have no time to read, I made the chapters short where you could jump to a topic such as senior driving or home care and just read those 3-5 pages if that is all you needed. And, as an homage to my maternal grandmother, my motif throughout the book was based on movies and TV shows such as the driving chapter called “Driving Miss Daisy,” or the nutrition chapter called “Breakfast at Tiffanys.”

Flash forward 10 years where I spent the next decade of my career focused on caregiver wellness, Alzheimer’s, and brain health. However, instead of seeing improved surveys of caregiver well-being, the numbers were alarming. One 2022 survey found 52% of family caregivers during the pandemic had suicidal ideation, and another 2021 survey revealed 72-80% felt increased burnout over their role. Certainly, the pandemic impacted these numbers but it was still cause for concern, especially since depression and loneliness can increase Alzheimer’s risk.

I had created a workshop for employers offered to their employees called “Me Time Monday,” based upon a chapter of the same name from my first book. It was a popular workshop, but I wanted to bring the science-backed techniques and tips from my workshop participants to a broader audience.

I also went back to university to achieve my master’s in gerontology with a specialty in neuroscience, brain health, and Alzheimer’s.

Most of the celebrity stories from my first book and continuing articles for various media outlets were about Alzheimer’s and caregivers, and I was seeing in my own circle of friends and colleagues more people caring for a loved one with dementia. Yet few people truly understand how the brain works.

Cover image of Me Time Monday by Sherri SnellingThe timing felt right for my second book, Me Time Monday – The Weekly Wellness Plan to Find Balance and Joy for a Busy Life published in 2023. As our reliance on technology has increased in our lives, it was also throwing our “ancient brains” into turmoil because we had less contact with nature and ways to immerse ourselves in our five senses of sight, sound, smell, touch and taste. By breaking life into seven areas of wellness (Physical, Emotional, Social, Intellectual, Environmental, Financial and Spiritual), I write about small things you can do in these areas combining neuroscience and nature to create life-balance and more joy, even if challenged with the time poverty of caregiving responsibilities. We need to understand more of how our brains work, not only for our own health and happiness but to provide better care for those with dementia and to support the millions of family caregivers who care for those with Alzheimer’s and other brain-related diseases.

Over the years I have been a caregiver for my dad and stepdad and more recently my mom. I have dedicated my career and personal time to being on the local chapter board of the Alzheimer’s Association, doing work for UsAgainstAlzheimer’s and Hilarity for Charity and will continue to educate and advocate for family caregivers and the dementia community.

Sherri Snelling, A Cast of Caregivers and Me Time Monday Purchase A Cast of Caregivers – Celebrity Stories to Help You Prepare to Care and Me Time Monday – The Weekly Wellness Plan to Find Balance and Joy for a Busy Life  Note: We are an Amazon Associate and may receive a small commission on book sales at not cost to you.

About Sherri Snelling

Sherri Snelling, A Cast of Caregivers and Me Time MondaySherri Snelling is a corporate gerontologist and CEO of the Caregiving Club, a consulting and educational content firm with expertise in aging, caregiving, Alzheimer’s/brain health, wellness and well home design. She recently published her second book, Me Time Monday – The Weekly Wellness Plan to Find Balance and Joy for a Busy Life, that follows her first book, A Cast of Caregivers – Celebrity Stories to Help You Prepare to Care. Snelling also writes articles for various online news outlets including PBS Next Avenue, and USA Today, and serves as an on-air aging wellness expert for TV and radio news. She has advised the White House, CDC, NIA, Alzheimer’s Association and provides employee education about juggling career and caregiving in the workplace for a network of 61,000 employer clients. She has a master’s in gerontology from USC and master’s certifications from MIT Sloan School of Business in “Shaping the Workforce of the Future” and “Happiness Psychology” from Harvard University.

Connect with Sherri

Caregiving Club website ​​​

Caregiving Club on Facebook​​​ (

Caregiving Club On Air Podcast Caregiving Club on YouTube

Sherri Snelling on Instagram ​​​(@sherrisnelling;

Sherri Snelling on X ​​​​(@sherrisnelling;

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