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Postgraduate Researcher needing Carers Over 40 - Carers UK Forum

Postgraduate Researcher needing Carers Over 40

Take part in research or give your opinion in a survey.

Are you working in addition to caring?

Are you a carer who is also currently in employment?

Are you caring for another adult?

If so, please could you assist me in an important piece of research?

I am a postgraduate researcher at the University of Nottingham and my area of interest in terms of research is the motivational factors of carers to continue employment.

The research will look at workers (both male and female, over 40 years of age) who have caring responsibilities. With a particular interest in finding out what it is about work (and its management, particularly support) that might motivate them to continue to work, even under considerable pressure.

The proposed method would either be telephone or face-to-face interviews lasting no more than 30mins. This post is to ask for carers who are willing to share their experiences, not for them to put any personal experiences publicly onto the forum if they do not wish to, as I understand it may be a sensitive issue to discuss.

If you would like to participate in this research or simply interested in more details, I would be more than happy for you to contact me.

Please feel free to leave comments - even if you do not wish to participate, I still would like to know what your opinions are about this area of research? Do you think it is worth exploring? Do you know anyone who may be interested in my research?

Thank you for reading.
To be honest I am getting a bit fed up of researchers coming on here and "using" us for their own purposes and then we never hear about the projects again, nor do we hear if our comments have been used, how they have been used and in what context. I don't really think that it is fair/ethical when we don't even know for what purposes this research will be used - will it help the DWP to force more older carers into paid work for example?

Hi Eun,

I apologize if you have had any negative experiences with researchers using these forums. This is the first time I have used this kinda of method to ask for help in my research because I have been having difficulties finding older working carers. I have been to charities such as AgeUK asking for help and they have suggested these forums to me.

At the University of Nottingham, we have a very strict code of ethical practice about conducting research. After participation, carers would be given contact details regarding the full purpose of the study and how exactly your information will be used. Anyone who has participated is also given the right to withdraw all their information from the research, if they are unhappy with any of its aspects.

My research involves carers talking about their personal experiences. Because it may be a sensitive issue to most carers, I would not want them to post them publicly on this forum. Instead, I would be wishing to talk to them personally and privately. The purpose of this forum is to simply ask if anyone would be willing to participate.

Because I am a postgraduate researcher, my research does not have the kind of power to be put forward to such organisations like the DWP. Instead, if successfully published (which may be an issue in itself), it would be recognised academically by senior researchers who may wish to follow up the study. It is these researchers, who will have more power than me to put forward the research to such organisations.

I hope this answer has helped with your comments. If not, please feel free to put your concerns onto this forum and I will try and answer them as best I can. Alternatively, if you wish to to email me privately, please let me know and I will give you my contact details.
I've never heard the term ELDERCARE before.

What kind of care does my hubby come under? There's no elder, younger, middle-aged care - I wish people didn't use such terms, it's all official, PC gobbledy-gook. We all CARE for someone, they shouldn't be categorised, it doesn't matter, they all need care.

ps. I hate the term CAREGIVER too.
Hi frandrake,

Your husband would be classed as an older person in your care, in terms of research. I used the term 'eldercare' because it has been referenced frequently in most academic studies.

Basically, I am looking for carers who are looking after another adult. For the purpose of my research I did not want to explore those with childcare responsibilities. This was because much research has been already conducted on this but much less so on older working carers looking after another adult.

I apologize if I have caused any offense to you. There is currently a lot of research being done right now and I just thought that using this forum would be a good way of asking for people who are wanting to help with my research.

p.s. I don't like the term 'caregiver' neither, that is why I have not used it. Image
I have always associated eldercare with caring for someone who is of pension age, most frequently a parent or, as in my case, a spouse who is significantly older than their caring partner, not someone of working age, I think that this would be a common interpretation as few of us are au fait with the definitions used in social research.
I would guess that most older carers are motivated to go to work by the usual reason, it folds and goes into our wallets so we can buy stuff like heating, lighting and tacky ornaments to put on the mantelpiece. Image
i try to attend groups and get support but as a working carer it is very hard so i would welcome talking to you about my experiences especially as I feel i am at the point of having to give up. This is important for affecting policy and i feel no one is taking any notice so please do this - we are out here!
There is no support and no help from employers and often yes , from other carers who can make me feel even more isolated . Most groups I have tried to attend are about getting more money and yes I am fortunate to have an income but its about the same as my caree gets from their benefits being severely disabled by mental illness and they dont have to pay for their housing!
Others i know in the same situation dont access such forums/groups becos of the stigma of being in work or only do so when they have become unemployed.
Other carers say they wish they could work and look at me & make me feel I have it easy- (!!) well maybe such research might help in some way for all of us .
Non working carers to be able to work by having help and support for them should be something feasible in future- I have just read about a full time carer who has turned down a place at university cos they have no support to attend - it would be better not to burn out the carer and provide more home care etc so that all are happier with situation.
I feel incredibly let down by a world which seems hell bent on gettin me out of work and on the dole rather than keeping me in some kind of work, even a few hours a week. At crisis times for me work is my release , a very boring world where I can retreat to. You need to have a system for people to contact you - I will be back online Monday so maybe private message me or something!!
Thank you so much for your posts. I really enjoy reading what your thoughts are and not just read about them in research books from people who are not carers themselves!

Parsifal - Yes, you are right that in some research literature, eldercare is someone of pension age. But in others, they have simply been referred as an older adult (typically aged over 45). I agree that the research out there is not perfect in its interpretation of carers and carees but I hope that, from my research, I can find out what actual carers and carees think from their point of view and not just from the researcher who is writing it all up in their study Image

Excalibur - For some it may be financial reasons, but for others it may be more than that. It may be a place for carers to be reminded that they are not just "carers".

Goose - I have spoken to many working carers and most of their personal experiences are very similar to yours - they feel that they are just not being heard. I hope my research will make more people aware that there are carers like yourself in these difficult situations and that much more help is needed.
If you are a working carer (or know of anyone interested), caring for an adult, and you would like to share your experiences, please feel free to contact me. I would love to hear from you.