Concerns of Family Caregivers during COVID-19: The Concerns of Caregivers and the Surprising Silver Linings

Elizabeth Lightfoot, Rajean Moone, Kamal Suleiman, Jacob Otis, Heejung Yun, Courtney Kutzler, Kenneth Turck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

COVID-19 has had an enormous impact on older people around the world. As family caregivers provide a good portion of the care for older people, their lives have been drastically altered by COVID-19 too. Our study is an in-depth exploration of the greatest concerns of family caregivers in the United States during COVID-19, as well as their perspectives on the benefits of caregiving during this global pandemic. We conducted in-depth interviews with a diverse sample of 52 family caregivers in the United States between May and September of 2020 over video conferencing using a semi-structured interview guide. Thematic analysis was conducted to ascertain our participants’ perceptions. Caregiver’s concerns were organized into six main themes, including social isolation, decline in mental health, decline in physical and cognitive functioning, keeping their family members safe from COVID-19, lack of caregiving support, and caregiving stress. The themes related to the benefits of caregiving during COVID-19 included: enjoyed the slower pace, increased time to spend together, deepened relationships, recognizing the resilience of family members, and caregiving innovations. Our in-depth study helps social workers understand the nature of caregiving stress during COVID-19, as well as the positive aspects of caregiving, even during a global pandemic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Gerontological Social Work
Early online dateMar 16 2021
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

Keywords

  • coronavirus
  • Informal care
  • long-term care
  • positive aspects of caregiving
  • residential
  • stress

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article

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