“This life is normal for me” : A study of everyday life experiences and coping strategies of live-in carers in Taiwan
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionMunkejord, M. C., Ness, T. S. M. & Gao, I-A. W. S. (2021). “This life is normal for me”: A study of everyday life experiences and coping strategies of live-in carers in Taiwan. Journal of gerontological social work, 64(5), 533-546. doi: 10.1080/01634372.2021.1917032
Recruiting migrant live-in carers has become the main strategy to address the rapid increase in the number of older persons with intensive care needs in many parts of the developed world. This is also the case in northern Taiwan, where this study took place. Thirteen live-in carers from Indonesia and the Philippines were interviewed in the fall of 2019. In this article, we discuss their two main coping strategies: a) “accepting destiny”, which refers to carers accepting their life and viewing their role as a live-in carer as a job that allowed them to meet their parents’ expectations of financial support; and b) “connecting to significant others”, which is the most important way carers found motivation to keep going. However, despite their coping strategies, working as a live-in carer was experienced as a challenging and precarious lifestyle. In the conclusion, we discuss how professional social workers in collaboration with decision-makers and non-governmental organizations in Taiwan could contribute to fostering a system that would support live-in carers in ways that allow them, and the older persons they care for, to thrive.