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Employees who care for eldery relatives: efforts and unmet needs in reconciling work and family responsibilities

Grant number: 13/04385-4
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): June 01, 2013
Effective date (End): September 30, 2014
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Psychology - Occupational and Organizational Psychology
Principal researcher:Elizabeth Joan Barham
Grantee:Maria Fernanda Jorge Lorenzini
Home Institution: Centro de Educação e Ciências Humanas (CECH). Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR). São Carlos , SP, Brazil
Associated scholarship(s):13/20506-6 - Impacts of responding to a caregiver assessment interview: changes in employed and non-employed eldercare providers' self perceptions, BE.EP.IC


Frail elderly require care, and the greater part of this support is provided by family members. In preceding generations, housewives would undertake most of this work. However, the majority of Brazilian women now work outside the home. As such, to manage the conflicts that arise between professional and family responsibilities, it is important to know more about the situation of people who are formally employed and who assist their elderly relatives. In our review of the Brazilian literature, we were unable to locate studies that address this situation. Thus, in the current study, we will examine: the kinds of eldercare involvements that workers are assuming and the difficulties they experience in managing these duties, their perceptions of their professional role, and the strategies and supports they use, or would like to use. We will interview 30 employees who work in a organization in the interior of the State of São Paulo, and who provide assistance to elderly relatives. The interview protocol includes a reduced version of the CARE Tool, to investigate the respondent's eldercare responsibilities and needs for support, and scales to measure their perceptions of caregiver burden, stress, importance of their work, work satisfaction, and the problems they are experiencing at work and in their personal lives. Quantitative data will be analyzed using descriptive statistical procedures (mean, standard deviation, minimum and maximum values) and qualitative information will be analyzed using content analysis techniques. In this way, we can help improve the understanding of the issues involved in balancing work and family responsibilities when elderly family members need assistance, in order to help protect the elderly, their caregivers, and maintain a productive workforce. (AU)

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