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Jo Powell, MHealSc 2011


The importance of caregiver satisfaction should not be underestimated. If caregiver satisfaction levels are high, this will have an impact on the quality of care provided and also on retention. If caregivers are satisfied in their work, they are also more likely to remain with their employer. The purpose of this dissertation is to gain an understanding and insight into how paid caregivers in the aged care sector perceive their work. This will provide aged care providers with recommendations of areas on which they could focus to increase satisfaction levels of their caregiver workforce.

A review of the existing literature was undertaken and key themes identified. Data for this study are from a focus group discussion involving five caregivers from an aged care facility in Christchurch. The key themes identified in this discussion were further explored in five in-depth interviews with different caregivers. Thematic analysis was undertaken and two key themes were identified which appeared to contribute to satisfaction of caregivers in their workplace.

The first theme identified in the study was the importance of recognition and respect from residents, managers, supervisors and families. Recognition was found to be valued more when the participants had good relationships with residents they were providing care for. The second theme related to the intrinsic aspects of the work and the altruistic reward caregivers gained through providing care. If employers are able to focus on areas in the workplace that support effective relationships with residents, this may contribute to satisfaction levels.

Supervisors: Lee Thompson, Gillian Abel

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