Beatrice Hale

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Independent researcher, author.

I am a passionate Scot, who has lived in New Zealand for about forty years. In
Dunedin, a beautiful place, I have worked as a social worker/community developer with older people for about twenty-five years. It was a totally absorbing job, bringing me into touch with needs and issues where policies didn’t reach.

In my later years of social working I developed and managed both community daycare, and a home care service, and discovered even more fully the meaning of home for older people. With encouragement from colleagues, I decided to undertake a doctorate in this area. This resulted in two books: The Age of Supported Independence and Family Care and Social Capital, both published by Springer, Dordrecht.

I am currently working on a non-academic book, The Story of Caregiving, considering different aspects of informal care in different societies, as far as I am able. This cannot be comprehensive! But it is a move to consider the extensive social dynamic of caregiving. Since beginning this research I have become fascinated with widely different aspects of ‘care’ – including the Egyptian shabti, and mediaeval orthotics.

Other interests? Gardening – which has resulted in a couple of herb gardening books and a general interest book, The New Zealand Pleasure Garden, on gardening for the senses. I’ve written for children: No Space to Waste, about growing potatoes in tyres, Ice Escape, an iceberg rescue adventure story, and for young adults, The Resolute Heart. These last two are available on Amazon, since at 75, I want to see them out, fast!

Materialities of Care sounds visionary and exciting. Thank you for letting me share in this.