Always on Call: When Illness Turns Families Into Caregivers

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Carol Levine
Vanderbilt University Press, 2004 - Health & Fitness - 284 pages

Combining powerful personal stories with astute analysis and recommendations, Always on Call reveals the hidden struggles of the more than 25 million family caregivers in the United States. While family members have always provided care for one another, recent changes in health care have placed tremendous new responsibilities on them--responsibilities that, only a decade ago, were a routine part of hospital care. The prevalence of chronic rather than acute illness, trends toward shorter hospital stays, increased outpatient care, and limited insurance benefits for in-home care now leave family caregiving as the only option for many Americans.

This book, first published in 2000 and now substantially updated, presents an intimate look at the world of family caregiving. The compelling narratives by caregivers capture the intensity of the caregiving experience, while chapters by noted health care professionals, many of whom speak of their own experiences, analyze the impact of caregiving, urge more professional advocacy on behalf of caregivers, and offer insightful suggestions for building partnerships for change and fostering improvement. This second edition includes:
- caregiving as a workplace dilemma
- the added burdens of end-of-life caregiving
- clinician-family conflicts (and new approaches for resolving them)
- new federal and state policy initiatives
- resources for families and professionals
- a new section on innovative caregiving programs
- new chapter on the financial impact of caregiving

Designed for family caregivers, health professionals, administrators, pastoral care providers, policymakers, patient and caregiver advocates, and human resource professionals, Always on Call is an essential book for understanding the current realities of family caregiving. Equally important, it builds a compelling case for change.

A United Hospital Fund Book

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A Crisis of Caregiving a Crisis of Faith
Learning to Be a Caregiver

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About the author (2004)

Carol Levine joined the United Hospital Fund in 1996 as director of its Families and Health Care Project.

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