The Experience of Caregiving Across Myths and Cultures

Camilla Pietrantonio, Francesco Pagnini, Paolo Banfi, Gianluca Castelnuovo, Enrico Molinari

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The person who gives care, the caregiver, must be aware of the disease, should be taught by qualified staff about strategies and optimal techniques to be applied on behalf of the care receiver to deal with the difficulties of everyday life. The vast literature on the subject has now shown that caregiving can not be reduced to a simple phenomenon that is attuned only to the fulfillment of a patient’s needs. The question of assistance is very complex because it involves many aspects of health and the level of support necessary to the individual in need, but also to the organization of social care, to the policies that manage and ensure its delivery. The notion of assistance regards all those cultural elements and values that relate to field of ethics, justice and social equality, individual well-being and community. Culture gives meaning to the events that occur in our lives, by ascribing to each one different values and emotions so the importance of cultural influences is essential, in caregiving too. A broad range of literature has investigated the relationship among the characteristics of caregivers’ culture, the role of the emotions and the mode of action of caregivers. In the present and, even more so, in the future, it appears that daily confrontation with illness, disability, non-self-sufficiency will be a continuing challenge to our civilization, social welfare systems and health systems so a new vision of the “economy of care” is warranted.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCaregivers: Challenges, Practices and Cultural Influences
EditorsAdrianna Thurgood, Kasha Schuldt
Number of pages24
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Caregivers
  • Quality of Life


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