"It's Like Juggling, Constantly Trying to Keep All Balls in the Air": A Qualitative Study of the Support Needs of Working Caregivers Taking Care of Older Adults

Eline E Vos, Simone R de Bruin, Allard J van der Beek, Karin I Proper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Many informal caregivers of older adults combine their caregiving tasks with a paid job. Adequate support is important to enable them to combine paid work with caregiving, while maintaining their health and wellbeing. To date, however, knowledge about working caregivers' support needs is fragmented. This study, therefore, aimed to obtain more insight into the support needs of working caregivers of older adults. We conducted six online semi-structured focus group interviews with in total 25 working caregivers of older adults living at home. Data were complemented with information from seven working caregivers participating in the study's advisory board. Data were analyzed using inductive and deductive thematic analysis. Six themes related to working caregivers' needs were identified: (1) Recognition of caregivers, including the challenges they face; (2) Attention for caregivers' health, wellbeing and ability to cope; (3) Opportunities to share care responsibilities; (4) Help with finding and arranging care and support; (5) Understanding and support from the work environment; (6) Technological support tailored to the needs and capacities of caregivers and older adults. To address these needs, working caregivers suggested several options in multiple domains of life (i.e., work, home and social life, care environment, personal health and wellbeing). To successfully support them, a multi-faceted effort, involving actors from multiple settings, is needed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5701
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2021

Cite this