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Monday, February 1, 2010

Raise your hand if you're a caregiver.

How Can Doctors and Caregivers Work Together?

from: HealthBridge's In-Home Care Blog

Dr. Pauline Chen took an insightful look at this topic in her "Doctor and Patient" column in the New York Times. She writes:

For all our assertions about the importance of caring in what we do, doctors as a profession have been slow to recognize family members and loved ones who care for patients at home. These “family caregivers” do work that is complex, physically challenging and critical to a patient’s overall well-being, like dressing wounds, dispensing medication, and feeding, bathing and dressing those who can no longer do so themselves.

Many of these caregiving tasks were once the purview of doctors and nurses, a central component of the “caring professions.” But over the past century, as these duties increasingly fell to individuals with little or no training, doctors and even some nurses began to confer less importance, and status, to the work of caregiving.