Individual Experiences and Life Satisfaction of Informal Elderly Caregivers in Poland: A Study Based on In-depth Interviews
Independent researcher
Klaudyna Szczupak   

Wydział Nauk Politycznych i Studiów Międzynarodowych, Uniwersytet Warszawski, ul. Krakowskie Przedmieście 26/28, 00-927, Warszawa, Polska
Data nadesłania: 26-10-2021
Data ostatniej rewizji: 07-12-2021
Data akceptacji: 20-12-2021
Data publikacji: 07-01-2022
Problemy Polityki Społecznej 2021;54:68–88
The Polish population is aging, generating a huge need for care, which for cultural reasons, and as a result of limited availability of professional care is predominantly the responsibility of family. In order to explore the experiences of informal elderly caregivers in Poland, 20 in-depth interviews were conducted. The aim was to understand what characteristics of the caregiving situation are meaningful for caregiver Subjective Wellbeing (SWB) and what important, valuable beings/doings in terms of the Capability Approach (CA), caretakers cannot achieve because of their caretaking role. The study also aims at exploring what public policy tools/measures are perceived as those that could positively affect SWB. The results show that, the subjective evaluation of SWB is not only highly related to factors such as burden of care, characteristics of the care recipient, caregiver support and/or time spent caring but also on limitations that caregiving imposes on the ability to achieve valued functionings. Furthermore, while many characteristics of the caretaking situation are perceived by caregivers as negatively affecting their SWB there are also aspects which can increase their SWB. Finally, people have preferences when it comes to the types of help they want and these preferences are dependent on their individual situations.
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