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Life to be LivedChallenges and choices for patients and carers in life-threatening illnesses$
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Catherine Proot and Michael Yorke

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199685011

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199685011.001.0001

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Demands on the family

Demands on the family

Chapter:
(p.39) Chapter 5 Demands on the family
Source:
Life to be Lived
Author(s):

Catherine Proot

Michael Yorke

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199685011.003.0005

This chapter title sums up the situations for the family of a very sick person. Demands are plentiful on emotions, on time, energy, skills and domestic finance. The bonds of love and friendship may be stretched but most people accept their importance and relevance. A vivid example of an experience of diagnosis highlights the carer’s needs and feelings which are so easily overlooked when the patient becomes the primary focus of attention. The practical, emotional and financial cost involved in the logistical challenges of accommodating medical schedules, travel, family routines, and equipment which undermines the sense of the ‘home’ are discussed. Carer isolation, depression and breakdown are considered. The necessity of teamwork among family and friends and with outside professionals is stressed. This does not always come naturally due to a personal sense of duty and anxiety about leaving ‘their’ patient, but we consider it vital not only for the carer but also for the patient.

Keywords:   shared diagnosis, logistical issues, financial demands, teamwork, carer needs, carer burden, (emotional) cost of caring, carer isolation

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