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  • Author or Editor: Allison Williams x
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In 2012, it was estimated that more than 5.6 million Canadian employees (35% of the workforce) had adult/elder care responsibilities (Fast et al, 2014). Lack of workplace support leads to consequences such as: carer-employees leaving the workforce/missing work; premature retirement; reduced productivity; health problems; and increased costs to employers (Peters and Wilson, 2017). In 2016, a partnership of committed stakeholders set out to develop a bilingual Canadian Caregiver-Friendly Workplace Standard and Implementation Guide. It is a gender-sensitive, accessible guide for employers and human resource professionals and is suitable for use in a wide range of workplaces.

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Given ageing demographics, the need for carers will increase and studies suggest that men are nearly as likely as women to become carers. The purpose of this study is to understand the specific challenges that male working carers experience with regard to social life and paid work. Participant recruitment was conducted through local carer support groups and male-dominated workplaces. Using a semi-structured format, 15 interviews were conducted. Findings suggest a variety of themes, including caring characteristics, the effects of caring, support systems and coping strategies. Our results indicate that the male working carer population faces specific challenges in the workplace and social settings.

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An ageing population has resulted in an increase in informal care. Many carers balance employment with care, called ‘working carers’. Research is lacking on minority ethnic working carers. This article explores the experiences of Filipino-Canadian working carers and the health impacts of their roles through qualitative photovoice methods. Participants took photographs recording their experiences. Data were collected from eight participants in Ontario from May to November 2017. Photographs and interviews revealed themes of: (1) transplanted values dictating attitudes to care; (2) challenges to personal health; and (3) coping mechanisms and sources of help. These findings address knowledge gaps as regards the experiences of Filipino-Canadian working carers.

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The purpose of this scoping review is to find all existing North American literature on male working carers and compare this information with female working carers. Searches were performed using various databases, published between 1996 and 2016. A total of 506 articles were found and 45 (n = 45) met all inclusion criteria. Five qualitative themes were identified: caregiving characteristics; motives for caring; work impacts; health impacts; and caring in the workplace and coping strategies. This review narrows the gap in the literature with respect to the similarities and differences between male and female working carers, and the way in which they approach caregiving tasks.

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Using two waves of survey data on family carers caring for older adults with multiple chronic conditions in Ontario and Alberta, this article provides a sex and gender analysis of 194 carers’ health outcomes. Gender and sex differences were examined on the following health outcomes: general self-efficacy; physical and mental health composite scores; overall quality of life; and the Zarit Burden Inventory – as well as experiences with work interference for carer-employees. Multivariate ordinary least squares linear regressions were used to estimate the effects of sex and gender, controlling for the carer’s socio-demographic and geographic characteristics, as well as for the characteristics of the care recipients. Sex and gender were found to have differentiated effects on each health outcome examined, providing evidence for specifically targeting health interventions by sex and gender. First, sex matters, as illustrated by the fact that female carers were found to be experiencing more negative health impacts than male carers (shown in the physical composite score and the quality of life score). This suggests that health-related interventions need to be targeted at female carers. Further, male carers are more likely to experience less carer burden, and more work interference, than female carers. Second, gender matters, as illustrated by the fact that masculine and androgynous genders showed significantly positive associations with general self-efficacy. This suggests that carers with feminine and undifferentiated gender roles experience more challenges with general-self-efficacy and could benefit from training and educational interventions to enhance their confidence in the caring role.

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Directly funded home care provides funds to individuals to arrange their own services. We ask, what is unique about being a directly funded home care worker? Our qualitative case study in Manitoba, Canada, included an online survey of 95 directly funded workers and interviews with 13 key informants, 24 clients and/or family managers, and 23 workers. Framed by feminist and disability care theories, we found ‘social task shifting’, that is: work that keeps households running and supports socialising; front-line worker involvement in care administration; and blurred relationships. Some directly funded workers are empowered by social task shifting, though the expectations can feel limitless.

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