Examining caregiving issues from a multigenerational, family life cycle perspective, this volume deals with the broad spectrum of chronic illnesses that necessitate family caregiving throughout the lifespan and discusses responses to these challenges by both caregiving families and caregiving systems. Part One addresses the caregiving paradigm and the relationship of family caregiving research to family life studies. Part Two examines conceptual aspects of caregiving, ranging from the expansion of the caregiving paradigm, caregiving processes and tasks, to the positive aspects of caregiving. Part Three emphasizes how family caregivers are affected by the connection (or lack of it) to macro-level systems.
Chapter 10: Caregiving Issues after a Heart Attack: Perspectives on Elderly Patients and Their Families
Caregiving Issues after a Heart Attack: Perspectives on Elderly Patients and Their Families
Illness is not singularly experienced. As family sociologists have long asserted (Litman, 1974; Parsons & Fox, 1952; Pratt, 1976), illness invariably involves the family unit. This is particularly evident to family members of older people. The health problems of later life are generally chronic, so they continue and may cause deterioration of organs and bodily systems that result in reduced functional ability (National Center for Health Statistics, 1985). The family is intricately involved in the management of illness because it is the main source of aid for ailing elders (Shanas, 1979). Although families, and caregivers in particular, can ...