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Providing informal care next to paid work: explaining care-giving gratification, burden and stress among older workers

  • Olga Grünwald (a1) (a2), Marleen Damman (a1) (a3) and Kène Henkens (a1) (a2) (a4)

Abstract

With an increasing retirement age, more older adults are combining employment with informal care-giving responsibilities. However, little is known about how older workers experience care-giving activities next to their paid jobs. This study aims to fill this gap by examining how the work situation (i.e. working hours, occupational status and perceived access to human resources practices) is associated with feelings of gratification, burden and stress in care-giving. Using data from the NIDI Pension Panel Survey, we study care-giving experiences – in other words, the extent to which care-giving activities are gratifying, burdensome or stressful – of 1,651 Dutch older workers (age 60–65) who provide care at least once per week. Multivariate analyses reveal that the work situation plays an explanatory role next to socio-demographic factors and indicators of the care-giving situation. Working care-givers who feel they have access to phased retirement and organisational health support experience care-giving as relatively less burdensome and stressful. Moreover, those with access to phased retirement experience relatively higher levels of gratification in care-giving. Our findings suggest that the availability of organisational support relates to lower levels of care-giving burden and stress, and to some extent to higher levels of gratification. Organisations thus play an important role in facilitating the combination of work and care-giving obligations in a context of longer working lives.

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Copyright

This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is unaltered and is properly cited. The written permission of Cambridge University Press must be obtained for commercial re-use or in order to create a derivative work.

Corresponding author

*Corresponding author. Email: grunwald@nidi.nl

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Keywords

Providing informal care next to paid work: explaining care-giving gratification, burden and stress among older workers

  • Olga Grünwald (a1) (a2), Marleen Damman (a1) (a3) and Kène Henkens (a1) (a2) (a4)

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