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When Roles Reverse
A Guide to Parenting Your Parents
Jim Comer
ISBN: 9781571745002
Book (Paperback)
Hampton Roads Publishing Company
6 x 9
328 pages
August 15, 2006


The answers you need—the personal, "been there" advice you can trust.

After his father suffered a massive stroke and his mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's, Jim Comer found himself an overnight "parent" at the age of 51. When he walked into his father's hospital room everyone looked to him as the “man who knew all the answers.” He soon realized he didn't even know the questions.

In ten years of caregiving, Comer has not only learned the questions he has lived them, and with When Roles Reverse he shares his hard-won answers.

He learned to deal with hospitals, insurance companies, rehab centers, his father's deafness and his mother’s dementia. Through it all Jim has kept his sanity and sense of humor, in the process forging a deeper, more intimate relationship with his parents.

With laugh-out-loud humor, Jim deals with improvisational moments for which there is no preparation:

  • You find three gallons of Scotch in your dad’s retirement home closet;

  • Your Mother refuses to leave her home of 34 years and can only be coaxed into the car with promises of ice cream;

  • At a crowded Sunday dinner table, your father announces that he wants you to give him an enema after lunch…

And offers personal experience and expert insight on the many issues it’s absolutely essential to plan for such as:
  • Wills, powers of attorney, and other legal documents every family needs

  • Which siblings will be there when your parents need them?

  • Selecting a first-rate care facility and getting long-term care insurance

  • New Medicaid guidelines and how to qualify

  • Hospice care and end-of-life decisions

When Roles Reverse even includes "Fifty Questions that will save you Time, Money, and Tears," a special section designed to help families initiate vital communication and prepare for the crises, confusion and unexpected joys of caregiving.

Jim Comer has appeared on The Today Show, written jokes for Bob Hope, Op-Eds for The New York Times, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times, and worked as a speech coach and creative consultant for Fortune 500 companies. He lives in Austin, Texas.
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Hampton Roads Publishing