The need for caregiving is enormous. Thanks to extraordinary advances in medical technology, Americans are surviving illnesses and injuries that would have killed them a generation ago, and more of us are living into our eighties and nineties than ever before. Yet most people over sixty-five live with the burden of one or more chronic illness. The problems created by the caregiving needs of these and other groups are at the center of several of the most explosive political issues of our time: health care, welfare, child care, and family leave. These issues can be resolved, the editors of this volume contend, only when we as a society understand and value the work of caregiving and provide support for professional and family caregivers.
The editors of this volume look not only at the financial, emotional, and physical demands of giving and receiving care but at the strengths and rewards inherent in the world of caregiving. This far-reaching book explores the depth and complexity of caregiving, from practice and personal experience, to ethics and policymaking, to home and institutional care.