In her new book, “Role Reversal: How To Take Care Of Yourself And Your Aging Parents” author Iris Waichler combines practical advice for caregivers with her personal story of caring for her father, a colorful World War II veteran who died at age 97.  Iris brought forty years of experience as a licensed clinical social worker to the task of caring for her dad, peppering medical staff with questions based on her insider’s view of how hospitals work, collaborating with her dad on choosing an assisted living facility for him, even setting him up with an age-appropriate social group after he started hanging out in bars, years after his wife died of cancer.  In today’s show, Iris offers professional tips on how to navigate the medical system, family relationships and end-of-life challenges. She talks about her dad’s autobiography and explains why it’s beneficial for older folks to share their history, and she tells us about the emergency phone call that cut short her trip to Greece.  She also shares some surprising discoveries made while writing her moving and useful book.

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Check out her new book: Role Reversal

Iris and her dad, August 2014


Dad’s 95th birthday


Iris’ parents


A young Iris and her dad. In his hand: a cow bone for their dog, given to them by the butcher.


Music: “Cases to Rest” and “Astrisx” by Blue Dot Sessions | CC BY NC | Free Music Archive