Karen Meadows and Iris Waichler
A Room of One's Own welcomes two memoirists, Iris Waichler and Karen Meadows, for a reading and booksigning from their books about caring for loved ones through illness and death. Karen Meadows relates the experience of losing her daughter to suicide at age 18, as well as the many resources she has collected and developed since then to help families prevent suicide. Iris Waichler discusses her book about caring for aging parents.
About Karen Meadows and Searching for Normal: Karen Meadows had a normal, happy family until depression consumed her daughter, Sadie—a struggle that ended with Sadie’s suicide at age eighteen. In Searching for Normal: The Story of a Girl Gone Too Soon Meadows shares her family’s journey as she tries to help her daughter Sadie cope with her mental illness, expertly intertwining her own storyline with excerpts from her daughter’s diaries. The years Meadows chronicles are characterized by Sadie’s heartbreaking bouts of running away, cutting, and living with Portland street families while Karen and her husband desperately search for solutions—trying medication, hospitals, therapy, wilderness and residential treatment programs, and more. Ultimately, however, they find themselves confronted with the devastating shortcomings of the US’s mental health system.
By including personal advice and an extensive list of resources that she wishes someone had provided her when she was trying to help Sadie, Searching for Normal will help parents of struggling teens feel less isolated and better equipped to navigate their teenager’s mental illness.
After her teenage daughter’s depression and subsequent suicide, Karen Meadows left behind her successful career in the energy industry to immerse herself in mental health issues. A volunteer on a crisis line and at homeless youth centers, Meadows now serves on the Oregon Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Board of Directors. She also serves on the Oregon Health Authority’s Children’s System Advisory Committee. This committee advises state policies regarding children’s mental health. She has an Executive MBA from UW-Madison, an MS in Engineering from UC Boulder, and a BS in Mechanical Engineering from UC Berkeley. Meadows lives with her husband and two cats in Portland, Oregon. Visit: www.karenmeadowsauthor.com.
About Iris Waichler and Role Reversal: 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 clinical social worker. 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.
Iris Waichler, MSW, LCSW has been a patient advocate and licensed clinical social worker for 40 years. She is an award winning author. Ms. Waichler has authored 3 books and hundreds of articles on healthcare related topics. Her new book, Role Reversal How to Take Care of Yourself and Your Aging Parents, won a Finalist USA Best Book of 2016 Award and caregiver.com nominated it as 1 of the top 8 caregiver books of 2016. Her previous book, Riding the Infertility Roller Coaster A Guide to Educate and Inspire, won 2 best book of the year awards from the National Association of Parenting Publications (NAPPA) and a Mom’s Choice Gold Award. Her website is @ iriswaichler.wpengine.com.