University Colloquium: Dr. Carol Grace Hurst

Love & Duty in the Final Chapter: Experiences of Home-based Caring for Family Elders
Carol Grace Hurst, PhD, LCSW
Associate Professor of Social Work
Eastern Mennonite University

Dr. Hurst presents results of a qualitative inquiry exploring home based caregiving experiences for family elders. Elders with complex health challenges are often assumed to need institutional care. The ways that family members respond to the dilemma of the need for caregiving involves unique problem solving within family systems. To remain at home, someone else must become a caregiver and invest significant love, labor, money, and time in the intensifying needs of the elder. Despite an historic focus on burden in caregiving literature, this study sought to explore caregivers’ meaning-making of both challenges and joys inherent to accompanying a loved one during their final chapter.

Dr. Hurst serves as Associate Professor of Social Work at EMU. She holds PhD and MSW degrees from the School of Social Work, Virginia Commonwealth University and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW). Dr. Hurst’s years in clinical practice have focused on children, youth, and families. She believes in the power of attachment, love, and deep spirituality to anchor resilience in families. Dr. Hurst’s scholarship endeavors have focused on family caregiving from two stages of the life cycle: early childhood and the elder years. Her research and writing collaborations have focused on breastfeeding, care giving, and clinical supervision.