Aging Across Generations—
Interactions That Work
Peter J. Whitehouse
This concluding section of the book has four chapters written from a variety of different disciplinary perspectives, including medicine, nursing, psychology, gerontology and social work. The authors focus on the importance of families in providing care for older adults, particularly the role of women. The particular challenges for grandparent caregivers of children are identified as well as the importance of developing programs targeted for those individuals. In addition to describing the challenges that intergenerational caregiving presents, the authors also communicate a sense of caring and hope about the positive growth opportunities for individuals and families through this process.
The first chapter begins with a clinical story of a devoted daughter who tries to provide a good quality of life for a moderately demented and medically frail mother. The circumstances of her death are less than ideal and highlight the importance of communication between professional and family caregivers. This first chapter presents the idea that the very structures of our families are changing creating an enormous amount of variability that health care professionals need to address as they attend to the needs of caregivers. This chapter by Peter DeGolia is written from a family medicine perspective and offers very practical advice about how caregivers should address the challenges of caregiving, including taking care of themselves, recognizing limits and developing regular planned schedules of