Book Review: Caring Alone

Johanna Shapiro, PhD

The central purpose of Caring Alone is to provide a “voice” to all those caregivers of the confused elderly who are researched and studied with increasing frequency (Gallagher, 1985; Pruchno & Resch, 1989; Schultz, Visintainer, & Williamson, 1990), but whose unquantified, unanalyzed emotions and understandings rarely find their way into academic research reports. As Opie, a research fellow at Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand, writes in her excellent introduction, “Sociological texts generally subordinate the richness of the individual participant to the voice of the ‘expert’ ” (p. 10). Here, by contrast, we peruse the unedited language of husbands and wives, sons and daughters, immersed in and often trapped by the daily responsibilities of care-giving.

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