The Caregiver's Tale: Loss and Renewal in Memoirs of Family Life

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Columbia University Press, Mar 14, 2006 - Social Science - 208 pages

Ann Burack-Weiss explores a rich variety of published memoirs by authors who cared for ill or disabled family members. Contrary to the common belief that caregiving is nothing more than a stressful situation to be endured, memoirs describe a life transforming experience-self-discovery, a reordering of one's priorities, and a changed view of the world. The Caregiver's Tale offers insight and comfort to individuals caring for a loved one and is a valuable resource for all health care professionals.

Identifying common themes, Burack-Weiss describes how the illness career and social meaning of cancer, dementia, HIV/AIDS, mental illness, and chemical dependence affect the caregiving experience. She applies the same method to an examination of family roles: parents caring for ailing children, couples and siblings caring for one another, and adult children caring for aging parents.

Jamaica Kincaid, Sue Miller, Paul Monette, Kenzaburo OŽ, and Philip Roth are among the many authors who share their caregiving stories. Burack-Weiss provides an annotated bibliography of the more than one hundred memoirs and an accompanying chart to help readers locate those of greatest interest to them.

 

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Contents

Part 1 Care Situations
1
Chapter 1 Introduction
3
Chapter 2 Cancer
12
Chapter 3 Dementia
19
Chapter 4 HIVAIDS
25
Chapter 5 Mental IllnessChemical Dependence
31
Part 2 Care Relationships
39
Chapter 6 Introduction
41
Chapter 10 Parent Care
72
Part 3 The Memoirs
83
Chapter 11 Introduction
85
Chapter 12 Memoirs in Brief
88
Chapter 13 Epilogue
139
Appendix 1 The Memoirs
159
Notes
169
Sources Cited
175

Chapter 7 Child Care
48
Chapter 8 Sibling Care
58
Chapter 9 Couple Care
64

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About the author (2006)

Ann Burack-Weiss, a licensed clinical social worker, has taught two generations of students at the Columbia University School of Social Work. She is the coauthor of Gerontological Social Work Supervision and Social Work Practice with the Frail Elderly and Their Families: The Auxiliary Function Model.
Ann Burack-Weiss, DSW is Adjunct Associate Professor at Columbia University's School of Social Work. She also maintains a private practice and is a frequent contributor to The New York Times. She has co-authored three books: First Encounters between Elders and Agencies, Gerontological Social Work Supervision, and Social Work Practice with the Frail Elderly and Their Families.

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