Accepting the Circle of Life: Lessons from the Anishinabe about Caring for Elders.
Families have different belief systems and when one of their elders becomes seriously ill their beliefs play a large part in determining how they view the situation of caregiving for that elder. In 1995 professor of family social science, with the collaboration of an Indian social worker, interviewed Anishinabe women who were caregivers for elders with dementia. She found that among the Anishinabe, people who value harmony with nature more than independence and mastery of nature, caregivers are less stressed than white, middle class caregivers. Anishanabe women not only accept the incurable illness of their elders, they also take charge of what they can master. They balance taking charge with letting go. They see the illness as an opportunity to give back the care they received as children. They grieve the loss of the elder they once knew and seek harmony with the demented elder, the family, and the illness.
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