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Care management and care provision for older relatives amongst employed informal care-givers

This paper examines care management, or ‘managerial care’, a type of informal care for older adults that has been relatively neglected by researchers. While previous research has acknowledged that care-giving may involve tasks other than direct ‘hands-on’ care, the conceptualisation of managerial care has often been vague and inconsistent. This study is the first explicitly to investigate managerial care amongst a large sample of carers. In our conceptualisation, care management includes care-related discussions with other family members or the care recipient about the arrangements for formal services and financial matters, doing relevant paperwork, and seeking information. The study examines the prevalence of this type of care, the circumstances under which it occurs, its variations by care-giver characteristics, and its impact on the carers. We drew from the Canadian CARNET ‘Work and Family Survey’ a sub-sample of 1,847 full-time employed individuals who were assisting older relatives. The analysis shows that managerial care is common, distinct from other types of care, a meaningful construct, and that most care-givers provide both managerial and direct care. Care management includes both the orchestration of care and financial and bureaucratic management. Providing managerial care generates stress amongst women and interferes with work amongst men, and the aspect that generates the greatest personal and job costs amongst both men and women is the orchestration of care.

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Ageing & Society

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