Thursday, June 24, 2010

caregiving as an existential quality

Emails from people I do not know is all part of blogging about caregiving. A recent email from Harvard Magazine caught my attention. Caregivingly Yours is honored to share their requested link to this month’s magazine.  After all there is NO admission criteria to caregiving.  
“... I am not a naive moralist. I’ve had far too much experience of the demands, tensions, and downright failures of caregiving to fall into sentimentality and utopianism. Caregiving is not easy. It consumes time, energy, and financial resources. It sucks out strength and determination. It turns simple ideas of efficacy and hope into big question marks…”
On Caregiving” in current Harvard Magazine, opens a poignant and unique window shared through the eyes of Arthur Klienman, caregiver for his wife Joan and professor of medical anthropology and psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.
“… It can amplify anguish and desperation. It can divide the self. It can bring out family conflicts. It can separate those who care from those who can’t or won’t handle it. It is very difficult. It is also far more complex, uncertain, and unbounded than professional medical and nursing models suggest…”
“… economists configure caregiving as “burden.” Psychologists talk about “coping,” health-services researchers describe social resources and healthcare costs, and physicians conceive it as a clinical skill. Each of these perspectives represents part of the picture. For the medical humanities and interpretive social sciences, caregiving is a foundational component of moral experience…”
“… As a scholar, I engage with other medical humanists to understand the dimensions of this moral activity—how it is experienced and organized. In part, I hope it can be better taught…”
“… I learned to be a caregiver by doing it, because I had to do it; it was there to do. I think this is how most people learn to be caregivers, for people who are elderly, disabled, or chronically or terminally ill …”
“… out of the billions of ordinary acts of caregiving perhaps also comes much of that which, imperceptibly and relentlessly, sustains the world.…”

To read the full article click:

Caregivingly Yours, Patrick Leer

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