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Older informal caregiver experiences following the COVID-19 pandemic in Aotearoa

24 months
Approved budget:
Dr Shinya Uekusa
Professor Christine Stephens
Professor Fiona Alpass
Professor Steven Matthewman
Dr Simon Lambert
Dr Suzanne Phibbs
Dr Joanne Allen
Health issue:
Proposal type:
Emerging Researcher First Grant
Lay summary
Informal caregivers play a vital role in the healthcare and social services in Aotearoa. However, their unpaid labour is undervalued, and challenges associated with caregiving during the pandemic are understudied. Earlier studies have shown the negative impacts of the pandemic on informal caregivers due to a misfit of increased care demands and limited resources, reaffirming the factors associated with their heightened vulnerabilities during disasters. However, some caregiver voices, especially Māori and rural dwellers, remain unheard, and there is little understanding of their immediate and long-term pandemic responses and experiences. This qualitative research takes a bottom-up approach to explore the experiences of older informal caregivers and understand what helped and hindered their ability to continue providing care in the face of the COVID-19 health and social crisis. By conducting 150-200 in-depth interviews with informal caregivers across Aotearoa, this research will develop new knowledge and inform more caregiver-centred policy and practice recommendations.