SOCIAL SCIENCES

Already Toast: Caregiving and Burnout in America

Beacon. Mar. 2021. 272p. ISBN 9780807011508. $26.95. SOC SCI
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Journalist Washington’s timely debut chronicles how quickly she and her husband’s lifestyle shifted from married professionals and parents to caregiver and patient after her husband’s diagnosis of a rare form of lymphoma. From 2016 to 2018, Washington served as a full-time aide to her husband, which had her battling insurance companies, making hospital appointments, and managing his care at home, all while trying to eke out a little extra time for herself. While working diligently as a caregiver, Washington felt alone, not realizing that there are thousands of others in similar positions all across the United States. The author highlights the necessity of providing more resources to caregivers, especially as baby boomers age. Nearly three quarters of caregivers are women, which underscores the importance of reform and the societal expectations that place women at the heart of caregiving. Washington also takes care to explore the racial dynamics of caregiving, with Black and Latinx women often serving in caregiving roles while also caring for children.
VERDICT This moving, relatable story is sure to resonate with patrons who, if not already serving as a caregiver, may find themselves taking on that role soon enough. A recommended purchase for library collections.

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