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The Competing Demands of Employment and Informal Caregiving to Disabled Elders

Robyn I. Stone and Pamela Farley Short
Medical Care
Vol. 28, No. 6 (Jun., 1990), pp. 513-526
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3765675
Page Count: 14
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The Competing Demands of Employment and Informal Caregiving to Disabled Elders
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Abstract

The competing demands of work and elder care are the subject of this study. The employment decisions of the informal caregivers of a nationally representative sample of disabled elders were examined using a nested multinomial logit model. Findings from the work accommodation model demonstrated that primary caregivers and those caring for elders with greater care needs are more likely to take unpaid leave, reduce work hours, or rearrange their work schedules to assume elder care responsibilities. Being female, white, and in fair-to-poor health also increased the likelihood of work accommodation. The model predicting employment of a caregiver revealed that the prospect of having to accommodate work to the demands of caregiving keeps some people from work entirely. However, not all caregivers would choose to work in the absence of caregiving responsibilities. After controlling for the probability of work accommodation, need for care, and availability of others to care, it is more likely that younger, white and more highly educated caregivers will be employed. The self-selection of working caregivers observed in this study should be considered when forecasting changes in caregiving costs associated with changes in the labor force participation of caregivers as a result of deliberate policies or social and demographic trends.

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