Family caregiving and support are perhaps the most essential elements in their disabled loved ones’ adjustment for response to disability. This chapter first explores the prevalence of caregiving in America, including demographic information about who the typical caregiver is and what the situational circumstances are for these individuals. It is followed by providing a definition of the types of caregiving support generally provided by loved ones, as well as the nuanced differences between unpaid family care versus paid formal care. This segues into a brief exploration into the significant family role caregiving entails and its impact on each member. The chapter then discusses caregiver abuse as well as the often painful decision to place a loved one in a long-term care facility. Finally, it explores strategies for counselors to be able to support family caregivers in caring for their loved one while maintaining their own mental and physical health needs.
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Identity arises out of the sum of our experiences. This chapter traces the developmental concept of identity through its manifestations at different levels of community, revealing a complex and systemic context for rehabilitation counseling. Each level of identity (personal, social, and collective) denotes a potential point of counseling exchange with the family. The authors of this chapter consider family identity in relation to disability and interaction with the community. They discuss personal identity versus family identity and social identity within a social movement. The McMaster model of family functioning and the three dominant tasks of family are explored as are the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF; World Health Organization, 2001) domains of health conditions, activities and participation, and functions affected. Finally, the chapter presents methods of family coping (both negative and positive strategies), family resiliency, and strategies that counselors can use to effectively assist families.