The best books on caregiving and the challenges it brings

Who am I?

I have been a medical social worker for over 40 years working with people who have had a catastrophic illness. I counseled them and their family members. Because of this experience, I have a lot of knowledge, experience, and training regarding the challenges caregivers face. In addition, I was the primary caregiver for my parents and helped take care of 2 friends helping them to die with dignity. Finally, I am the author of an 8-time award-winning book called Role Reversal How to Take Care of Yourself and Your Aging Parents. I have written hundreds of articles on health-related topics including aging and caregiving.


I wrote...

Role Reversal: How to Take Care of Yourself and Your Aging Parents

By Iris Waichler,

Book cover of Role Reversal: How to Take Care of Yourself and Your Aging Parents

What is my book about?

Designed to help caregivers understand how to cope with and overcome the overwhelming challenges that arise while caregiving for a loved one―especially an aging parent―Role Reversal is a comprehensive guide to navigating the enormous daily challenges faced by caregivers.

In these pages, Waichler blends her personal experience caring for her beloved father with her forty years of expertise as a patient advocate and licensed clinical social worker. It is told in her voice and his. His life story becomes a springboard discussing universal caregiving themes. The result is a book offering invaluable information on topics ranging from estate planning to grief and anger to building a support network and finding the right level of care for your elderly parent. This book won 8 major book awards. 

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Can't We Talk about Something More Pleasant? A Memoir

Iris Waichler Why did I love this book?

This book is by Roz Chast, famous New Yorker cartoonist. It is a memoir about her relationship with her aging parents dealing with universal caregiving themes she faced while watching her parents age and become increasingly disabled with more medical issues. It is told in a refreshing way through her cartoon talents. It made me both laugh and cry as she touched on topics and challenges that I and most caregivers experience. It addresses the grief and anxiety that we all feel as caregivers.

By Roz Chast,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Can't We Talk about Something More Pleasant? A Memoir as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

#1 New York Times Bestseller
2014 National Book Award Finalist
Winner of the inaugural 2014 Kirkus Prize in nonfiction
Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award
Winner of the 2014 Books for a Better Life Award
Winner of the 2015 Reuben Award from National Cartoonists Society

In her first memoir, New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast brings her signature wit to the topic of aging parents. Spanning the last several years of their lives and told through four-color cartoons, family photos, and documents, and a narrative as rife with laughs as it is with tears, Chast's memoir is both comfort…


Book cover of The 36-Hour Day: A Family Guide to Caring for People Who Have Alzheimer Disease, Other Dementias, and Memory Loss

Iris Waichler Why did I love this book?

This book is the go-to book for people caring for loved ones with Alzheimer’s Dementia and memory loss. It highlights the enormous challenges loved ones face in working with those diagnosed with these illnesses. It is a comprehensive guide full of invaluable information with fantastic tips on how to manage and cope and take care of yourself. I love the wealth of information that it offers

By Nancy L. Mace, Peter V. Rabins,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The 36-Hour Day as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Through five editions, The 36-Hour Day has been an essential resource for families who love and care for people with Alzheimer disease. Whether a person has Alzheimer disease or another form of dementia, he or she will face a host of problems. The 36-Hour Day will help family members and caregivers address these challenges and simultaneously cope with their own emotions and needs. Featuring useful takeaway messages and informed by recent research into the causes of and the search for therapies to prevent or cure dementia, this edition includes new information on * devices to make life simpler and safer…


Book cover of How to Care for Aging Parents: A One-Stop Resource for All Your Medical, Financial, Housing, and Emotional Issues

Iris Waichler Why did I love this book?

Virginia Morris has been a leading expert in the field of aging and caregiving. I have high respect for her experience and her work. This book is a comprehensive guide that explores emotional, psychological, and physical challenges that arise when the ultimate role reversal happens. It is a difficult transition for all concerned and this resource offers great information, tips, and scenarios that will resonate with all caregivers. 

By Virginia Morris,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked How to Care for Aging Parents as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The book that answers all the questions you hoped you’d never have to ask.

Hailed as “an excellent resource” by the Family Caregiver Alliance, How to Care for Aging Parents is an indispensable source of information and support.

Now completely revised and updated, this compassionate, comprehensive caregiver’s bible tackles all the touch subjects, from how to avoid becoming your parent’s “parent,” to understanding what happens to the body in old age, to getting help finding, and paying for, a nursing home.

When love is not enough—and regrettably, it never is—this is the essential guide.

Help for every difficult issue:

Knowing…


Book cover of The Successful Caregiver’s Guide

Iris Waichler Why did I love this book?

Rick Lauber is another caregiving expert that I turn to for information and advice when I was a caregiver. This book is jam-packed with practical guidelines, tips, and resources for caregivers. It helps caregivers assess their needs and what care options are available to them as they care for the needs of their loved one changes and their ability to be a caregiver also changes. 

By Rick Lauber,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Successful Caregiver’s Guide as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

You may be among the tens of millions of Americans who provide care for your parent — or you may be among the ten of millions who will. So many children are caught unprepared when physical and mental health declines in aging parents. Life cannot readily prepare you to furnish excellent eldercare while balancing the demands on your time. This book provides practical tips, realistic guidance, encouragement and insight into the time ahead. Among other things, it answers: • How do you decide when your parent stays at home or moves to assisted living? • What should you expect when…


Book cover of The Conscious Caregiver: A Mindful Approach to Caring for Your Loved One Without Losing Yourself

Iris Waichler Why did I love this book?

In my experience working with caregivers burnout is the biggest challenge. This book offers readers real-life case examples and exercises to help caregivers understand themselves better. It helps caregivers closely examine their options as the needs of the person they care for change. It focuses a lot on the psychological issues and challenges the caregiver relationship creates for all who are involved. 

By Linda Abbit,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Conscious Caregiver as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Being a caregiver is a difficult role. It requires pateince, tenderness, selflessness, and hard work. Providing care for another human being, whether a parent, loved one, or as a professional requires a level of self love and self care as well that can not be ignored.
While it may be a rewarding experience to care for a loved one, it can also be a stressful, both emotionally and mentally. It is easy to get caught up in taking care of someone else that you forget to take care of yourself and your own physical and emotional well being as well.…


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Katie’s Gamble

By Kara O'Neal,

Book cover of Katie’s Gamble

Kara O'Neal Author Of The Princess's Knight

New book alert!

Who am I?

Author Reader Teacher Writer Hopeless romantic Optimistic human

Kara's 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

Katie's Gamble is an unexpected, unique story about a young woman who's trying to support her younger siblings by keeping her family's confectionery shop open.

In order to do that, she has to take on her older brother, who's a notorious gambler in Louisiana. Additionally, she has to outsmart Rowdy Denton, her brother's hired gunslinger, who wants nothing more than to protect her and keep her from entering a dangerous gambling tournament.

Katie’s Gamble

By Kara O'Neal,

What is this book about?

Katie's Gamble is an unexpected, unique story about a young woman who's trying to support her younger siblings by keeping her family's confectionery shop open.

In order to do that, she has to take on her older brother, who's a notorious gambler in Louisiana. Additionally, she has to outsmart Rowdy Denton, her brother's hired gunslinger, who wants nothing more than to protect her and keep her from entering a dangerous gambling tournament.


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