Retention of Paid Related Caregivers

Who Stays and Who Leaves Home Care Careers?

For caregivers working for family or friends, or related workers, remaining a direct care worker after the index work experience (IWE) depends on personal dynamics and caregiver characteristics.

The present study explores characteristics of related workers who continue in direct care work (Stayers) and those who stop (Leavers). Study participants were 383 related workers of which 203 were Leavers and 180 were Stayers. Interviews were conducted via telephone. Data analysis included logistic regression.

Key Findings:                       

  • Stayers were more likely to be employed before the IWE and to have assisted distant relatives and friends. Several characteristics of Stayers were similar to characteristics of career direct care workers.
  • Leavers were more likely to have given care to close family members. Over 40 percent of Leavers stated they would be open to continuing in direct care work even if it was with unrelated people.
  • Higher levels of education lower the odds of staying in caregiving while prior home care work raises the odds. Stayers were more likely to view caregiving work as being aligned with their skills and interests.

Outreach efforts may increase the numbers of related workers who choose to remain in the direct care workforce after caring for friends and family.