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Social Perspective on Caregiving in the US

The problem of caregivers is incorporated in the many-faceted character of the sphere in which people of this social activity work. Here is the issue of caregivers’ resentful attitude toward people being in their responsibility. However, to externalize the resentment by abusing the elderly individual is the fact that is seen in American society. In fact, it is not the way out for them to make some improvements. The paper discloses the problem of caregiving in the United States and current issues detected in the societal discourse. The role of the caregiver is outlined with an extremely humane approach. Therefore, there should be no obstacle to making this type of service widely spread and encouraged throughout the country.

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First, it is vital to point out that the cases of elder abuse became more frequent in terms of the social framework of the US. In other words, the theory of elder abuse causation presupposes the essence of four elements which are related through strong and moderate association:

  • Abuser’s mental and emotional problems;
  • Dependency of the abuser;
  • Social isolation of elder;
  • Physical elder abuse (Pillemer & Wolf, 1986, p. 260).

Continuing this idea, it is vital to admit that the first element of this model relates to a strong association to the second and fourth points. The second and third elements are interrelated, and the third in turn is related to the fourth by moderate relation. This model characterizes the real resentment which arises today in relationships between caregivers and elder individuals. The real reasons for this are enclosed into the fact that elders are placed in the circumstantial reality with mere isolation, and caregivers are not quite supported socially so that to make their living sustainable.

The reliability of the risks with which caregivers merely face describes the reasons for their resentful framing of the problem. It also concerns the fact that there is a lack of professionalism between them in most cases. Brandl (2006) notes that for the detection of elder abuse professionals should point out all facts being essential for the inspection: “A multidisciplinary approach will help professionals to avoid the missteps of assuming that the abuse is based on one causation theory and of offering remedies that may be inappropriate for the victim” (58).

On the other hand, Jackson (2007) sees difficulties in terms of determination of elder abuse, because of the more linked definition of such situations with “risk factors”. In this respect the author underlines the necessity of using “theories of the presumed causation of elder abuse” (Jackson, 2007, p. 270).

Turning to caregivers, the cases of elder abuse appear because of the barriers which may emerge in relationships between caregivers and care recipients. The family approach is the panacea for prevention from any case of elder abuse. In this respect, the situation should be highlighted with logically grounded devotion of family members toward each other. Different theories contemplate this point, as the optimal. “However, spouse caregivers of cardiac patients who perceive that they are under benefitted appear to resent their caregiving responsibilities only when they have less communal feelings toward the care recipient” (Harvey, 1998, p. 175). Thus, the problem seems to be at its dead-end while inspecting real reasons for caregivers’ resentful framework about their responsibilities to provide appropriate attention to elder individuals.


Brandl, B. (2006). Elder abuse detection and intervention: a collaborative approach. Berlin: Springer Publishing Company.

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Harvey, J. H. (1998). Perspectives on loss: a sourcebook. Brandon, VT: Psychology Press.

Jackson, N. A. (2007). Encyclopedia of domestic violence. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.

Pillemer, K. A. & Wolf, R. S. (1986). Elder Abuse: Conflict in the Family. Westport CT: Greenwood Publishing Group.

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