About this book
Becoming a caregiver is increasingly an inevitable experience for many people and, therefore, a likely life transition. Drawing on research and personal experiences of working with family caregivers, this book examines a range of family caregiving situations from across the life course. It seeks to capture the dynamics of caregiving in a number of common situations: caregiving during infancy, for adults who acquire a disability through accidents or illness, for older people with age-related issues, and caregiving by children and adolescent carers and grandparent carers. In drawing attention to key moments of vulnerability faced by family and informal caregivers, and by suggesting how to assist ‘reconnection’ at these moments, the book provides a guide for those working in the area of health, disability and care.
Informal care is conceptualised as occurring with the context of personal interrelationships, these being nested within wider kin networks and linked with wider professional formal care networks. Informal care is seen both as an expression of social capital and as an activity that builds social capital. It is an indicator of resources of mutual support within social networks, and it has the effect of adding to the stock of social resources. The book makes a case, therefore, for facilitating the development of social capital by strengthening the capacity of informal caregivers and caregiver groups, and by improving the linkages with formal care organisations.