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Caring for Our OwnWhy There is No Political Demand for New American Social Welfare Rights$
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Sandra R. Levitsky

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199993123

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199993123.001.0001

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The Roots and Experience of Contemporary Caregiving

The Roots and Experience of Contemporary Caregiving

Chapter:
(p.37) Chapter 2 The Roots and Experience of Contemporary Caregiving
Source:
Caring for Our Own
Author(s):

Sandra R. Levitsky

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199993123.003.0002

This chapter describes the demographic and sociopolitical changes that have contributed to a crisis in long-term care: a unique set of challenges confronted by families today that were not present for previous generations of Americans. These trends include the aging of the population, changes in family form, and rising rates of female labor force participation. The chapter also considers the role of “policy drift” in exacerbating the care crisis: the failure of policymakers to update social policy in ways that might offset or reduce the social risks associated with these long-term trends. Finally, the chapter describes the range of caregiving tasks that families today confront in providing long-term care for a person with a chronic disease such as Alzheimer’s or cancer and considers the ways in which the needs of such patients are increasingly difficult for today’s families to satisfy on their own.

Keywords:   long-term care, care crisis, policy drift, social policy, caregiving, Alzheimer’s, cancer

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