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 4: Optimal Use of Formal and Informal Systems over the Life Course
Optimal Use of Formal and Informal Systems over the Life Course
In this chapter we discuss how life-course considerations interact with a task-specific theory of social supports to answer the following questions: (a) Which life-course factors lead individuals to seek formal organizations to take over family tasks, (b) which life-course factors lead to which forms of neglect or abuse, and (c) how do life-course considerations affect the composition and use of different types of informal supports? The task-specific theory states that in advanced industrial societies, such as the United States, formal organizations and informal ones optimally deliver different types of caregiving service. Furthermore, the various informal groups, such as marital, kin, ...