ERIC Number: EJ837958
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Apr
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
"I Get Along with Most of Them": Direct Care Workers' Relationships with Residents' Families in Assisted Living
Kemp, Candace L.; Ball, Mary M.; Perkins, Molly M.; Hollingsworth, Carole; Lepore, Michael J.
Gerontologist, v49 n2 p224-235 Apr 2009
Purpose: The purpose of this article was to explore staff-family relationships in assisted living facilities (ALFs) as they are experienced by care staff and perceived by administrators. We identify factors that influence relationships and explore how interactions with residents' families affect care staff's caregiving experiences. Design and Methods: The data are drawn from a statewide study involving 45 ALFs in Georgia. Using grounded theory methods, we analyze qualitative data from in-depth interviews with 41 care staff and 43 administrators, and survey data from 370 care staff. Results: Care workers characterized their relationships with most family members as "good" or "pretty good" and aspired to develop relationships that offered personal and professional affirmation. The presence or absence of affirmation was central to understanding how these relationships influenced care staffs' on-the-job experiences. Community, facility, and individual factors influenced the development of relationships and corresponding experiences. Insofar as interactions with family members were rewarding or frustrating, relationships exerted positive or negative influences on workers' caregiving experiences. Implications: Findings suggest the need to create environments--through policy and practice--where both parties are empathetic of one another and view themselves as partners. Doing so would have positive outcomes for care workers, family members, and residents.
Descriptors: Grounded Theory, Caregivers, Caregiver Attitudes, Interpersonal Relationship, Older Adults, Residential Care, Interaction, Family (Sociological Unit), Caregiver Role, Work Environment, Social Influences
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Georgia