The High Cost of Caregiving for Alzheimer’s Disease
Gutierrez, Andrea R.
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As women have increasingly entered the labor force over the past century, their contributions to public institutions have been recognized, while their roles in the home as caregivers have remained undervalued, and often invisible. In the growing epidemic of Alzheimer’s Disease, much of the caregiving to treat patients is done by women. Much of this care takes place in the informal sector in homes and communities, and is unpaid. The costs of caregiving, which come in multiple forms, compel questions about the role of this position in society, and its recognition in the private and public domain. A review of the literature draws connections among the financial, physical, and emotional burdens, and summarizes current feminist thought on caregiving. The paper concludes by examining possible solutions for the welfare of caregivers, whose number and importance are sure to grow along with the aging population.