A woman using a cane walks down a city sidewalk.


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Transformations (Response)

Letitia Helen Burridge

The caregiving scenario in Dr Winch’s paper provokes a response, not because it is new to us but because we do not ask enough questions. Stroke is but one of a spectrum of chronic life-limiting illnesses (CLLIs) that seem to creep in with age and longevity in more developed countries. The likelihood of having to care for someone with a CLLI increases with the rising prevalence of CLLIs, as the author has noted. It is not new for humans to care for one another, but moving the location of more demanding levels of care from professional settings into the home revolutionises the time and space of carers’ personal lives. We have normalised this.

As a society and as a body of health professionals we think “patient-first” about the person with the CLLI, but perhaps fail to think deeply enough about what this mind-set imposes on the health of those whom we now call “carers”. They are now required to comply with normative expectations without the preparation, resourcing and relief that health …