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.

The Caregiver as the Hidden Patient: Challenges for Medical Practice

The caregiver as the hidden patient: Challenges for medical practice
Jack H.Medalie

Medical practitioners have long been trained to do everything possible for their patients (part of the Hippocratic oath taken upon graduation from medical school) and usually regard the people around the patient—family and friends—as allies in the management of the identified patient. In some cases, however, these “helping” people become unwilling participants or even antagonists in respect to the care.

Whether family and friends become allies or unwilling participants, family practitioners who take care of other family members often witness symptoms, illnesses, and even fatal diseases developing in the caregiver and/or other members of the patient's intimate group (Dody, 1986; Hasselkus, 1988; Rabins, Mace, & Lucas, ...

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