Who Cares for the Elderly? CL: Public Policy and the Experiences of Adult Daughters

Emily Abel, Author Temple University Press $58.5 (220p) ISBN 978-0-87722-814-1
As Abel points out, society still expects adult daughters to provide live-in, long-term care for their elderly parents--often at the expense of career and private life. The author calls this assumption a consequence of the lingering ideal of woman as a saintly Florence Nightingale, and of the government's failure to provide noninstitutional geriatric care. Basing her scholarly study on interviews with 50 adult daughters, Abel, who teaches public health at UCLA, observes that along with chores, their responsibility for decisions affecting their parents requires a sometimes stressful role-reversal, especially in cases of dementia. Some form of financial compensation or tax relief, support services (transportation, day care centers, etc.), education and therapy groups for caregivers, are among the author's proposals for easing the daughters' burdens. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/29/1991
Release date: 04/01/1991
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