Caring for Oneself and Others at Home and at Work
Edited by Ronald J. Burke and Lisa M. Calvano
Chapter 12: What to expect when the unexpected happens: becoming a caregiver
Studying the lived experiences of employed caregivers can help scholars and practitioners understand the complexities of balancing caregiving and work. In this chapter, I use autoethnography to weave together scholarly and personal perspectives on becoming a caregiver. I will draw on three sources of information: the academic and popular literature on eldercare; a journal I kept during a parent’s illness and eventual recovery; and the notes I took while managing my parent’s medical care. Reviewing this material, three themes stand out: the practical challenges of coordinating day-to-day care; the emotional challenges of watching a parent age; and the professional challenges of juggling home and work responsibilities.
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