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The Cultures of Caregiving

Conflict and Common Ground among Families, Health Professionals, and Policy Makers

As the population ages and the health care system focuses on cost-containment, family caregivers have become the frontline providers of most long-term and chronic care. Patient care at home falls mainly on untrained and unprepared family members, who struggle to adjust to the new roles, responsibilities, and expenses. Because the culture of family caregivers—their values, priorities, and relationships to the patient—often differs markedly from that of professionals, the result can be conflict and misunderstanding.

In The Cultures of Caregiving, Carol Levine and Thomas Murray bring together accomplished physicians, nurses, social workers, and policy experts to examine the differences and conflicts (and sometimes common ground) between family caregivers and health care professionals—and to suggest ways to improve the situation. Topics addressed include family caregivers and the health care system; cultural diversity and family caregiving; the changing relationship between nurses, home care aides, and families; long-term health care policy; images of family caregivers in film; and the ethical dimensions of professional and family responsibilities. The Cultures of Caregiving provides needed answers in the contemporary crisis of family caregiving for a readership of professionals and students in medical ethics, health policy, and such fields as primary care, geriatrics, oncology, nursing, and social work.

Contributors: Donna Jean Appell, R.N., Project DOCC: Delivery of Chronic Care; Jeffrey Blustein, Ph.D., Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Barnard College; Judith Feder, Ph.D., Georgetown University; Gladys Gonzalaz-Ramos, M.S.W., Ph.D., New York University School of Social Work and NYU Medical School; David A. Gould, Ph.D., United Hospital Fund in New York City; Eileen Hanley, R.N., M.B.A., St. Vincent's Hospital Manhattan / Saint Vincent Catholic Medical Centers, New York City; Maggie Hoffman, Project DOCC: Delivery of Chronic Care; Alexis Kuerbis, C.S.W., Mount Sinai Medical Center; Carol Levine, M.A., United Hospital Fund, in New York City; Jerome K. Lowenstein, M.D., New York University Medical Center; Mathy Mezey, R.N., Ed.D., New York University; Thomas H. Murray, Ph.D., The Hastings Center, Garrison, New York; Judah L. Ronch, Ph.D., LifeSpan DevelopMental Systems; Sheila M. Rothman, Ph.D., Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health; Rick Surpin, Independence Care System.

About the Authors

Carol Levine is director of the Families and Health Care Project of the United Hospital Fund in New York. Thomas H. Murray is president of the Hastings Center.

Reviews

"This text would be helpful for teaching students in medicine, nursing, social work, and health care administration."

- Tina Kenyon, ACSW - Family Medicine

"This book can be recommended to family caregivers, health care staff, and policy-makers—as well as to those teaching courses in health care, policy, and gerontology."

- Anne P. Glass - Journal of Women and Aging

"A must read for those who are planning to work in the healthcare field and for those currently employed in it."

- Molly Ranney - Journal of Women and Aging

"A well-researched and fascinating historical recount of the cultural differences between the family members, health professionals and policy makers... Recommended background reading for geriatric care managers and professionals seeking policy changes in caregiving."

- Kathleen Wall - Inside GCM

"Editors Levine and Murray and their contributors demonstrate a broad understanding of the culture of caregiving and families."

- Choice

"The collaboration and talents brought together to write this book are phenomenal... This book should be considered an instrument in building and solidifying the bridge between caregivers and the medical community."

- David Sigel - Baylor University Medical Center Proceedings

"Levine and Murray have taken us beyond complaining about conflicts and problems in providing healthcare across the cultural divide. Instead, they offer insights, knowledge, and, most important, direction for creating remedies to problems."

- Peggy Dilworth-Anderson, Ph.D. - JAMA

"A well-written and thought-provoking book written by professionals in the health care industry, some who are family caregivers themselves."

- Family Caregiver Alliance

Endorsements

"This book makes a wonderful contribution to the literature on caregiving and the importance and problems of family caregiving. It could be the best single source—for the widest readership—on the contemporary crisis in family caregiving, from its demographics to its personal tragedies and its professional, institutional, and legislative dimensions."

- Arthur W. Frank, author of At the Will of the Body: Reflections on Illness; The Wounded Storyteller: Body, Illness, and Ethics; and The Renewal of Generosity

"The Cultures of Caregiving: Conflict and Common Ground among Families, Health Professionals, and Policy Makers is a well-crafted book."

- Fahmida Hussain - Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved
Johns Hopkins University Press
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