HealthcarePapers

HealthcarePapers 15(1) April 2015 : 62-66.doi:10.12927/hcpap.2015.24393
The Authors Respond

Caring for Caregivers: Bridging the Care Gap

A. Paul Williams, Allie Peckham, Kerry Kuluski, Janet Lum and Frances Morton-Chang

While drawing on different perspectives, the insightful responses of our commentators all highlight the increasingly crucial role of informal, and mostly unpaid caregivers. They also raise key questions. The first question, "how should we refer to caregivers," pushes us to acknowledge the diversity of caregiver characteristics, contexts and roles. The second, "how should we understand the caregiver 'problem'," reminds us that although often thought of as an individual matter, caregiving is a public policy issue requiring broader systems thinking and approaches. The third, "what should we do about it," draws attention to the importance of building and strengthening social networks to support caregivers and bridge a "growing care gap." We offer the example of Japan which, as part of its national dementia care policy, is now encouraging the development of inter-generational dementia-friendly communities.

 

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