Eldercare and Work Among Informal Caregivers: A Multidisciplinary Review and Recommendations for Future Research

  • Rebecca L. Clancy
  • Gwenith G. Fisher
  • Kelsie L. Daigle
  • Christine A. Henle
  • Jean McCarthy
  • Christine A. Fruhauf
Original Paper


Although research on eldercare and work has burgeoned in recent years, current literature is lacking an integrative model or framework to summarize existing findings and guide future research. The purpose of this article is to synthesize prior empirical research regarding eldercare among informal caregivers who must balance care with employment. We propose a conceptual model to serve as an organizing framework to understand eldercare and work. More specifically, our model includes predictors and outcomes that are grouped in terms of individual, family, caregiver relationships, work, and societal factors related to elder caregiving and work. We highlight and discuss key factors that mediate and moderate the relations between eldercare and its associated outcomes at multiple levels, including employees, their families, organizations for which caregivers work, and society as a whole. Finally, we provide methodological and substantive recommendations to guide future research.


Eldercare Employed caregiver Informal caregiving 



We thank Elenoa McCabe and Sarah Mercer for their assistance with preparing this manuscript.


This research was supported by the Mountains and Plains Education and Research Center, Grant T42OH009229, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the Department of Health and Human Services.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyColorado State UniversityFort CollinsUSA
  2. 2.Department of Environmental and Occupational HealthColorado School of Public HealthAuroraUSA
  3. 3.Survey Research CenterUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  4. 4.Department of ManagementColorado State UniversityFort CollinsUSA
  5. 5.Kemmy Business SchoolUniversity of LimerickLimerickIreland
  6. 6.Department of Human Development and Family StudiesColorado State UniversityFort CollinsUSA

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