You probably recognize the author of this book more from her great cartoons in The New Yorker than as the author of one of the greatest modern works on caregiving. Roz Chast is a member of the Sandwich Generation, a group of folks in their 30s-50s tasked with providing care to both aging parents and growing children. It is a phenomenon birthed of both our increasing longevity as a people, and the delayed onset of starting a family by many born in the 1970s-80s.
This book, but its not really a book, its what the cool kids call a graphic novel, beautifully traces Chast's experience with her own conservative, urban parents as they age and Chast struggles to provide for their needs. Chast perfectly described her feelings, which I feel sum up a lot of the current struggles we all have with long-term care costs in her interview on Fresh Air by saying, "They were frugal...they were very careful about money. To see all that scrimping just sort of...like a Niagara Falls of expense at the end."
I won't spoil any more of the details, but I feel the book is a perfect lighthearted and quick read for anyone going through or having been through a struggle with parents or other relatives as they navigate leaving the family home, transitioning to some kind of senior living, the loss of a parent, and ultimately the loss of both parents.
I recommend this for all of my clients and friends who are dealing with any parent or relative in these various stages, and I've never heard a disappointing review. I've got so many copies of this book in circulation right now, I should start a library system. Check it out here.