By G. Clare Wenger (auth.), David N. Weisstub, David C. Thomasma, Serge Gauthier, George F. Tomossy (eds.)

Caring for Our Elders is the second one of 3 volumes on Aging conceived for the International Library of Ethics, legislations, and the NewMedicine. top students from a number disciplines deal with a few of the significant matters in elder care dealing with sleek international locations: familial tasks of care, the way forward for social welfare platforms, housing, dementia, abuse and neglect.

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Most of the studies that have sought to fmd correlates or predictors of the impact of caregiving have been limited in one or another way. Herrman et al. (1993) have identified four main limitations. First, few studies have been based upon a representative sample of family caregivers. Second, and in contrast, most studies have used relatively small samples drawn from service providers or support organizations and hence likely to focus on more stressed caregivers. Third, some studies have been restricted to caregivers of people with a particular condition rather than covering all diagnoses and disabilities; dementia caregiving has received most attention, with some comparisons made to caring for individuals who do not have dementia.

One well-known rendition of this approach invites us to place ourselves behind a veil of ignorance. We might, for example, imagine that we are ignorant of whether we are a son or daughter, and know only that we have parents who will age and eventually die, and who may become dependent upon us in old age. S. population is forecast to grow 20% and the number of people needing extensive long-term care will swell as much as 60% (Institute of Medicine 1986). Framed in this way, the question of what is a fair way to distribute parent care within the family takes on a different light.

At the first census held in Australia, in the state of Victoria in 1901, only 4% of the population was aged 65 years and over. Being still a largely immigrant society, most young families did not have older members to care for, and extensive analyses of family formation and demographic processes made by Rowland (1986, 1994) points to three other factors that limited the potential for family support of older members of the community. First, around 10% of those older cohorts had never married. Second, although women who were older in the early years of the century had borne an average of six children, the capacity for family support in old age was reduced by still high infant mortality which meant that many of these children did not survive to adulthood.

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