Family Caregivers: Disability, Illness, and Ageing

By Hilary Schofield; Sidney Bloch et al. | Go to book overview
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It is a mistake to view caregiving as typified by burden, by negative effects on carers' physical, emotional, social and financial well-being. About four out of five are content with their life as a whole, its personal, emotional and financial aspects, and the amount of freedom and independence they have. Most feel supported by family and friends and most get a great deal of satisfaction caring for their relative or friend. Only a minority feel angry and resentful. Nevertheless, it is true that as a group they report poorer health, more anxiety and depression, more overload and social isolation than those with usual family reponsibilities. Particularly affected are parents, young carers generally, and those caring for a person with a mental disability and associated behaviour problems. Caregiving therefore presents a distinct area of need.The aim of this chapter is thus to draw together a number of the policy and practice implications of the VCP research and health promotion activities. In so doing, we have used a number of underlying principles for providing services. These include the desirability of:
a positive regard for caregivers and the social role they fill
attributing to caregivers a specific, independent client status alongside the care-recipient, because of the stresses and needs that arise from their caregiving role;
a preventive approach to providing information and engaging formal and informal supports


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