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The Stress, Grief And Graceful Humanity of Caregivers25:32Download

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Caregiver Warren Manchess shaves Paul Gregoline, in Noblesville, Ind. Gregoline is 92 years old and battling Alzheimer's and needs a hand with nearly every task the day brings. (Darron Cummings/AP)MoreCloseclosemore
Caregiver Warren Manchess shaves Paul Gregoline, in Noblesville, Ind. Gregoline is 92 years old and battling Alzheimer's and needs a hand with nearly every task the day brings. (Darron Cummings/AP)

Unpaid caregivers provide about 90 percent of long-term care in the United States. Those are mostly sons, daughter, brothers, sisters, husbands and wives — all organizing meals, medication, doctor's visits and health insurance policies.

But the challenges of caregiving go beyond statistics and logistics — aging family members often forget who their loved ones are. Family dynamics are upended as children care for parents in ways they never expected.

Northhampton-based journalist Nell Lake examines all the facets of the caregiver-patient relationship in her forthcoming book, "The Caregivers: A Support Group's Stories of Slow Loss, Courage and Love."

She attended caregiver support groups for years, and became close with caregivers and their loved ones on a truly intimate level.

Guests

Rachel Zimmerman, co-host of WBUR's CommonHealth blog. She tweets at @commonhealth.

Nell Lake, author of "The Caregivers: A Support Group's Stories of Slow Loss, Courage and Love." She tweets at @Nell_Lake.

More

CommonHealth: Heroism At Home: An Intimate Look At Growing Ranks Of Caregivers

  • "If you’re an adult living in the U.S., it’s a good bet that you (or your neighbor or close friend or colleague) are caring for an elderly family member. Indeed, more than 43 million Americans — about 18 percent of adults — care for a family member or friend 50 or older, according to the Family Caregiver Alliance; 15 million of these caregivers tend someone who has Alzheimer’s disease or some form of dementia."

Vermont Public Radio: At Dartmouth-Hitchcock, Actors Fake Dementia To Train Caregivers

  • "Co-leader and nurse practitioner Justin Montgomery wants caregivers to see themselves, not just the faux patients, in action. So they watch videotapes of the simulations."

Excerpt

"The Caregivers: A Support Group’s Stories of Slow Loss, Courage and Love"

This segment aired on February 4, 2014.

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