The best books on caregiving and the challenges it brings

Iris Waichler Author Of Role Reversal: How to Take Care of Yourself and Your Aging Parents
By Iris Waichler

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. 

The books I picked & why

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

By Roz Chast,

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

Why 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.


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

By Nancy L. Mace, Peter V. Rabins,

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

Why 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


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

By Virginia Morris,

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

Why 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. 


The Successful Caregiver’s Guide

By Rick Lauber,

Book cover of The Successful Caregiver’s Guide

Why 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. 


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

By Linda Abbit,

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

Why 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. 


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in ageing, caregiver, and Alzheimer's disease?

5,215 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about ageing, caregiver, and Alzheimer's disease.

Ageing Explore 32 books about ageing
Caregiver Explore 32 books about caregiver
Alzheimer's Disease Explore 43 books about Alzheimer's disease

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like All Things Consoled: A Daughter's Memoir, Floating in the Deep End: How Caregivers Can See Beyond Alzheimer's, and The 36-Hour Day: A Family Guide to Caring for People Who Have Alzheimer Disease and Other Dementias if you like this list.