Paid caregiver motivation, work conditions, and falls among senior clients

Lee A. Lindquist*, Karen Tam, Elisha Friesema, Gary J. Martin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine the motivation of paid non-familial caregivers of seniors, understand more about their work conditions, and identify any links to negative outcomes among their senior clients. Ninety-eight paid caregivers (eighty-five female and thirteen male), recruited from multiple sites (i.e. senior centers, shopping malls, local parks, lobbies of senior apartments, caregiver agency meetings) completed face-to-face questionnaires and semi-structured interviews. We found that 60.7% of participants chose to become a caregiver because they enjoyed being with seniors while 31.7% were unable to obtain other work, and 8.2% stated it was a prerequisite to a different health related occupation. Caregivers stated that the most challenging conditions of their work were physical lifting (24.5%), behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (24.5%), senior depression/mood changes (18.4%), attachment with impending death (8.2%), missing injuries to client (5.1%), lack of sleep (4.1%), and lack of connection with outside world (3.1%). Caregivers who reported that the best part of their job was the salary, flexible hours, and ease of work were significantly more likely to have clients who fell and fractured a bone than those who enjoyed being with seniors (job characteristics, 62.5% vs. senior enjoyment, 25.6%; p< 0.004). We concluded that in pursuing their occupation, paid caregivers are motivated commonly by their love of seniors and also by their lack of other job opportunities. Paid caregivers frequently face challenging work conditions. When seeking a caregiver for a senior, motivation of the caregiver should be considered when hiring.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)442-445
Number of pages4
JournalArchives of Gerontology and Geriatrics
Volume55
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2012

Keywords

  • Bone fractures
  • Caregiver burden
  • Caregivers
  • Motivation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Aging
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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