Caring for Elderly Parents: Juggling Work, Family, and Caregiving in Middle and Working Class Families

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Greenwood Publishing Group, 1997 - Social Science - 232 pages
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Based on open-ended interviews with adult children and children-in-law, this book documents how plain folk from the working and middle classes manage to provide care for their frail, elderly parents while simultaneously meeting the obligations of their jobs and their own immediate families.

Adult children who care for elderly parents are pressured daily trying to juggle the responsibilities of work, family, and caregiving. Deborah Merrill shows how plain folk (as one caregiver termed herself) from the working and lower middle classes manage to provide care for their frail, elderly parents while simultaneously meeting the obligations of their jobs and their own immediate families. The evidence is drawn from open-ended, in-depth interviews with adult children and children-in-law, all of whom have worked outside of the home at some point during caregiving.

Merrill examines the strategies that caregivers use to combine work and caregiving and the accommodations they make in their jobs. She also points to the pathways that lead family members to caregiving roles and how those pathways vary according to family history, gender, and in-law status. By focusing on class differences in caregiving and pointing to policy implications, Merrill has provided an invaluable resource for students, researchers, and policymakers in social work, gerontology, family studies, and social issues.


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Chapter 1 Introduction
Chapter 2 Illustrations of Caregiving
Processes and Pathways
Conflict and Cooperation
Managing Work and Caregiving
Chapter 6 Stress and Implications for Family Life
Chapter 7 DaughtersinLaw as Caregivers
Chapter 8 The Caregiving Career
Class Ethnicity and Gender
Chapter 10 Policy Implications
Chapter 11 Conclusions

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Page 216 - Education and the Economic Transformation of Nineteenth-Century America," appeared in Matilda White Riley, Robert L. Kahn, and Anne Foner, eds., Age and Structural Lag...
Page x - The completion of this manuscript would not have been possible without the assistance of many individuals.
Page 207 - EM (1990). Women in the middle: Their parent-care years. New York: Springer Publishing Co.
Page 219 - SL (1989). Caregiving and employment: Results of an employee survey.
Page 221 - Stolzenberg, RM, & Waite, LJ (1977). Age, fertility expectations and plans for employment.
Page 208 - Pp. 15-28 in Rosalie A. Kane and Joan D. Penrod (Eds.), Family caregiving in an aging society: Policy perspectives. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Brody, Elaine M., Morton H. Kleban, Pauline T. Johnsen, Christine Hoffman, and Claire B. Schoonover. 1987. Work status and parent care: A comparison of four groups of women.
Page 214 - Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Dwyer, Jeffrey W. and Raymond T. Coward. 1992. Gender, family, and long-term care of the elderly.
Page 211 - Medicare Use in the last Ninety Days of Life.

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About the author (1997)

DEBORAH M. MERRILL is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Clark University. Over the past several years she has published articles in both gerontology and family studies.

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