Chapter

The Roots and Experience of Contemporary Caregiving

Sandra R. Levitsky

in Caring for Our Own

Published in print May 2014 | ISBN: 9780199993123
Published online June 2014 | e-ISBN: 9780199378906 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199993123.003.0002
The Roots and Experience of Contemporary Caregiving

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This chapter describes the demographic and sociopolitical changes that have contributed to a crisis in long-term care: a unique set of challenges confronted by families today that were not present for previous generations of Americans. These trends include the aging of the population, changes in family form, and rising rates of female labor force participation. The chapter also considers the role of “policy drift” in exacerbating the care crisis: the failure of policymakers to update social policy in ways that might offset or reduce the social risks associated with these long-term trends. Finally, the chapter describes the range of caregiving tasks that families today confront in providing long-term care for a person with a chronic disease such as Alzheimer’s or cancer and considers the ways in which the needs of such patients are increasingly difficult for today’s families to satisfy on their own.

Keywords: long-term care; care crisis; policy drift; social policy; caregiving; Alzheimer’s; cancer

Chapter.  13008 words. 

Subjects: Gerontology and Ageing ; Social Movements and Social Change

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