Blurred Boundaries for Foreign Caregivers: For Better or For Worse?


Background: Stroke survivors frequently require a caregiver after they are discharged from the hospital (1). Their needs are often medically and physically demanding and can exceed the abilities of families, leading some to seek in-home help (2, 3). In Taiwan, foreign caregiving has become more common to address the needs of older adults and avoid institutionalization (4). However, little is known about the perspectives of stroke survivors and their family regarding foreign caregiving. The current project sought to address this gap.
Methods: We conducted a secondary analysis of qualitative data collected through a stroke recovery and foreign caregiving project (5). For this project, researchers completed interviews with 23 Taiwanese, community-dwelling stroke survivors (mean age: 73.4 years; 47.8% female) and their family who had hired a foreign caregiver. Data were analyzed using a thematic analysis approach (6).
Results: Six themes arose from our analysis, categorized into positive and negative consequences of employing a foreign caregiver. Positive outcomes included: (a) reduced family burden, (b) relationships exceeding professional norms, and (c) receiving necessary support. Negative outcomes included: (a) blurred and demanding schedules, (b) unmet expectations, and (c) poor stroke survivor outcomes. For example, many participants discussed relationships with their caregiver resembling “family”, but simultaneously discussed a lack of boundaries for the caregiver’s time off leading to burnout.
Discussion: Participants identified positive and negative consequences of hiring a foreign caregiver that were sometimes conflicting. These findings demonstrate the need for specific regulations and policies surrounding the expectations and role of foreign caregivers.

Author Information
Kate Perepezko, University of Pittsburgh, United States
Chloe Muntefering, University of Wisconsin-Madison, United States
Feng-Hang Chang, Taipei Medical University & Wan Fang Hospital, Taiwan
Yosika Mauludina, Taipei Medical University, Taiwan
Beth Fields, University of Wisconsin-Madison, United States

Paper Information
Conference: AGen2023
Stream: Aging and Gerontology

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon