Reconciling Employees Paid Work and Informal Eldercare Responsibilities: A Qualitative Study

Conference: The European Conference on Aging & Gerontology (EGen2022)
Title: Reconciling Employees Paid Work and Informal Eldercare Responsibilities: A Qualitative Study
Stream: Resilience
Presentation Type: Live-Stream Presentation
Hedva Vinarski Peretz, YVC The Academic Yezreel Valley College, Israel


The current study underlines the importance of studying the experiences of caregivers and their employing organizations. Population aging and its implications on the micro-level of employees, organizations and HRM systems imply that more attention should be devoted by organizational researchers to understand the experiences of employees with eldercare responsibility, a cohort that accounts for a growing segment of the labor market worldwide. This paper focuses on the job and organizational related factors that affect employees’ coping strategies while they perform paid work and eldercare (hereafter, PW-EC) for their relatives in the community. Using a qualitative research approach we examine the way employees’ conflicting responsibilities of PW-EC affect their work, employment and wellbeing. Semi-structured interviews were carried out with 18 employed caregivers, aged 43-60, in the Israeli labor market. Verbatim transcripts were analyzed making use of the principles of thematic analysis. The analysis yield five main factors that affect caregivers' work, employment and wellbeing: 1) unmet multiplied responsibilities; 2) each side pays; 3) life in hold; 4) flexible work and autonomy as keys; 5) colleagues' backup. In step, the further analysis identified three main coping strategies used to regulate the responsibilities of PW-EC - ‘blurring time strategy’, 'safety net strategy’ 'avoidance strategy'.

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