Dd101 Essay

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What might be some of the difficulties and rewards of being a carer for a family member? At some point in our lives it is likely that every one of us will find ourselves with caring responsibilities, either for a family member or someone close to us. While caring duties have always been integral to family life, it’s only since the end of the twentieth century that the different aspects of care within families have gained public interest. The term ‘unpaid carer’ or more recently ‘carer’ was coined to refer to someone who specifically provided care to a person due to their sickness, age or disability. The vast impact of the role these carers fill and their economic values to health services have become increasingly recognised, yet for the carer themselves the role presents its own difficulties and rewards. One of the fundamental difficulties faced by carers is indeed acknowledging that they have become carers. Many people find that they have slipped into this role unknowingly, while others find their lives changed suddenly. There may be embarrassment or denial at admitting your role as a carer within the family, as many may view this as a natural addition to family obligations. The case study of Ann and Angus carried out by Joyce Cavaye (2007) supports this by illustrating the fact that Ann had trouble identifying her role. “..Did not recognise herself as carer… saw herself first and foremost as a wife, mother and dutiful daughter.” (Cavaye, 2010, p6). Whilst caring within the family may reduce the cost to public health services, the economic cost can be considerable both to the caregiver and the person receiving care. Carers may have to give up paid employment to meet the demands of their new responsibilities. Certainly this is true of Ann, who had to give up her job as a promotions assistant to meet the increasing needs of her stepfather. “I used to

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