Being a carer
Being a carer
This chapter gives a brief introduction to the concepts of social support and social relations within the context of psychological work to provide a wider theoretical background for the succeeding chapters. Since the majority of caring occurs within the networks of kinship and family, this chapter provides theoretical backgrounds and perspectives that pinpoint the dynamics of family caring. The nature of caring in a larger context is discussed as well with emphasis on the increasing research and policy interest in carers, the characteristics that define an ideal carer, and the tasks they carry out. Included as well in this chapter is the debate on what constitutes a carer. In order to define whether ‘being a carer’ is self-ascribed or merely used by professionals, this chapter provides alternative conceptual categories that attempts to clarify the debate on the use of the nomenclature. The concluding section of this book outlines the context of the book and its stand on chronic and terminal illness and on the current debates that challenge the practices of palliative care in the past and now.
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