"With its useful resources and warm professionalism, Role Reversal is an essential read for adults thrust into the role of caregiver for their parents . . . Waichler’s personal approach to the subject is humanizing and contextualizes the plethora of useful resources she packs in. She emphasizes that the dignity of aging parents should be recognized and understood, as should the fine line between maintaining dignity and doing what is best as a caregiver."
Reviewed by Mamta Madhavan for Readers' Favorite
Role Reversal: How to Take Care of Yourself And Your Aging Parents by Iris Waichler is a helpful tool to all those who are involved in the caretaking of their loved ones as they grow older. The book encourages everyone to listen to their parents, the stories they have to tell, and find out what they want. The author shares her experiences of taking care of her father, and the importance of identifying and assessing the needs of an elderly parent. She also highlights the skills required, ranging from determination, patience, money, and knowledge, and how to work on them to walk through complicated issues like having a health plan, engaging other family members, and making final decisions. The book will also enable all those who are challenged by helping elderly loved ones in their families face them with renewed vigor, energy, and a fresh insight.
I found the book useful and the tips and techniques shared by the author will guide everyone to be more patient and focused while handling aged parents. She also speaks about the challenges faced by caregivers like her, and advises readers on how to divide their time choosing caretaker responsibilities, choosing a nursing home, and how to manage hospital bills, which are all useful to those handling aged people. She also provides useful links to additional governmental, nonprofit, and private resources. It is an excellent guide for all caretakers and it is also a good book to have in one’s personal collection so that one can be organized when it comes to the needs of their aged parents.
This is a very comprehensive guidebook that will help steer you through the most tenuous of feelings and circumstances you might encounter in being the caregiver to your aging parents. Waichler uses her own voice and experiences to relay to her audience what to expect physically, mentally and emotionally. She provides coping mechanisms and sound advice.
“Still none of this seemed real to me. How could he be gone? I realized that from this moment on, the decisions being made would be ours only – my siblings’ and mine. Dad’s voice was gone.”
When a parent passes, one realizes many things they must deal with daily – the grief, anger and fear of not having that parent around for advice, words of wisdom or anything else. Not only does one have to make decisions and have intimate knowledge of your parents’ wishes but also of their past. This will ultimately help you understand the why of their actions.
“And then I heard dad say in the background, “I think we should tell Iris what’s going on.” Having to deal with parents who want to protect you until their dying breath is a common occurrence that often times leaves the child even angrier and more hurt. But this is important to recognize, parents are like this!
Although I never saw much of what my own parents went through caring for their parents, the parts I did see and know about were outlined in this book – things to expect when caring for a parent or other loved one, daily challenges, and so much more. Now that my mother is coming to live with me and my husband, I am delighted to have read this book. It came at a very opportune and important time. I have already come to realize that when mom has been angry with me it is because I took her power away and treated her not as the adult she is but rather as a small child. Waichler clearly explains that it is important that they “save face.”
Waichler describes her journey and experiences clearly and with emotional depth that will bring tears to your eyes and an “Oh” as well. This is the most all-inclusive guide book anyone can find that is readable and caring. The book alone is a wonderful resource; Waichler advises each person to build a network of support for themselves and their parents.
Waichler’s writing is strong and concise in a down-to-earth style; she flows from one topic to another in an organized manner. She is insightful, kind and generous in her sharing whether it leaves her in a positive light or not. She speaks truthfully and thoroughly. The last few weeks with my father was made clearer with reading this book. There were so many things he did and said both before and during his illness that when he passed away my sister and I were left dumbfounded and hurt. I am passing this book along to my sister to help her heal.
I wish I had read this book before, perhaps I would have understood things better with dad but with mom, I feel much more prepared. Parents don’t live forever, prepare yourself so you can be a blessing to them.
WordsAPlenty proudly gives this book a five-star rating for its handling of sensitive material, as well as, the depth and caring that this book demonstrates not only for the parents but for the adult children left behind.
Role Reversal How to Take Care of Yourself and Your Aging Parents recieves Finalist Best Book of the Year Award in Self Help Relationships Category
Role Reversal How to Take Care of Yourself and Your Aging Parents received a Finalist National Indie Excellence Award for 2017.