A BOOK REVIEWER
A BOOK FOR REVIEW
THE NEW SOCIAL WORKER ONLINE
A Guide For Those Who Give Care and Those Who Receive It
by Carol Heintzelman, Millersville University
Guide for Those Who Give Care and Those Who Receive It, by Victoria E. Bumagin
and Kathryn F. Hirn. (2001). Springer Publishing Company, New
York, 272 pp., $36.95.
CAREGIVING is a book that social
workers, other related professionals, and nonprofessionals should
read. All individuals are caregivers and care recipients in the
course of their life span. Others are caregivers as a result
of the nature of their professional calling, such as social workers,
doctors, and nurses. The authors look at the caregiving experience
from the perspective of the several parties involved in the process,
drawing upon their experiences as social workers with extensive
experience in gerontology and working with the families of their
aging clients. The book is readable, current in terms of practice
and policy concerns, and the authors make excellent use of relevant
case vignettes throughout.
The thesis of
the book is stated on p.ix of the Preface as follows: "to
understand the needs of both patients and caregivers, one must
explore and apply an understanding of the interpersonal relationships
between caregivers and care recipients, as well, as a broader
sense of the history, experience and attitudes that compose their
social and emotional environment."
CAREGIVING is divided into three
parts and ten chapters, which carry out the above thesis. Part
I: Caregiving in the Social Context, focuses on determinants
and conditions of caregiving, defining who are the care recipients,
caregivers, and when it is time to provide care. Part II:
The Caregiving Experience comments on balancing the scale,
as well as emotional pitfalls. The Social Impact of Caregiving
is the focus of Part III and discusses the caregiver paradigm,
in-home services as respite, caregiving within the health and
social care systems, and when the caregiving ends.
in the book need to be highlighted. One area relates to feelings
of guilt that "adult children feel caring for their aging
parents." (p.9) The authors give an excellent description
of the evolution of relationships and attitudes between the two
groups. In the course of this discussion, Bumagin and Hirn describe
the impact of "skipped generation families" (p.15),
the "lineage bridge" (p. 16), and the impact on adult
caregiving children in "returning the gift of life"
(p.18). Caregivers of people who are mentally ill, mentally
retarded/developmentally disabled, and Alzheimer's patients will
appreciate the succinct and practical guidelines on p. 66 to
help them in their caregiving.
Bumagin and Hirn
differentiate on p. 81 between "taking care" and "giving
care," and the impact this difference has for both the caregiver
and care recipient. They also identify, on p. 104, five categories
of adjustment related to care recipients who need a nursing home
placement. On pp.124-125, the authors identify seven factors
that contribute to service refusal by care recipients, and provide
suggestions for resolving the concerns. A checklist of fifteen
guidelines (p. 162) regarding the quality of service by home
health agencies is provided for social workers, nurses,
and other professionals to evaluate the adequacy of a proposed
agency. The authors, on pp.181-182, note the impact of the managed
health care system on caregiving, especially for the elderly.
As our population
ages, there will be an increased need for caregiving by all individuals,
both professional and nonprofessional, in our society to provide
such services. CAREGIVING will benefit all parties
who read it by preparing them for the future.
Carol A. Heintzelman, DSW, ACSW, LSW, Professor of Social Work,
Millersville University of Pennsylvania, Millersville, PA.
© 2001, 2002
White Hat Communications