Sunday, September 14, 2008

Caregivers Need Support

The self-help shelves at big-box book stores are sagging under the weight of how-to books for baby boomers new to the task of taking care of their frail, aging parents. These books touch all the bases: geriatric conditions, housing options, financial and legal matters, caregiver stress, government benefits, shifting family roles, national and state resources, checklists and Web sites. They are inclusive and informative, but a bit chirpy and somehow bloodless.

Sadly, the most compelling narratives on eldercare are hidden away in medical and professional journals. Excruciatingly detailed and heartfelt as only first-person accounts can be, they are written by doctors, nurses, social workers, administrators of nursing homes and the like, all of whom thought they knew everything about America’s flawed and overburdened long-term care system — until they had to navigate it and found themselves just as flummoxed as the rest of us.

Read the entire article.

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