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Support workers and caregivers are critical to support people with cognitive decline in accessing health services and facilitating the uptake of interventions.

In 2012 a network of researchers was formed to focus on research on support workers and caregivers in the aged care sector.  This network is led by Prof Leigh Hale from the Centre for Health, Activity, and Rehabilitation Research at the School of Physiotherapy.

Current projects

Well-being and coping skills of informal carers of stroke survivors

This research study aims to create a mental wellness programme to improve well-being and coping skills of informal carers of stroke survivors.

Further details on the project

Past projects

Valuing those supporting people living with cognitive decline

Funded by New Zealand Brain Health Core

Principal research questions:
1.How can support workers and carers supporting older adults with cognitive decline be valued for the important work they do?  
2.How can this knowledge be used to enable support workers and carers supporting older adults with cognitive decline optimise access to services and interventions for those living with cognitive decline?

Research team:
Primary Investigator:
Professor Leigh Hale (Otago)

Associate investigators:
Dr Nicola Kayes (AUT)
Prof Pauline Norris (Otago)

Research collaborators:
Dr Bronwyn Boon
Dr Mary Butler (OT, Otago Polytech),
Michelle Holland (Otago Polytech),
Esther Ngocha-Chaderopa (Waiariki Institute of Technology),
Dr Barbara McKenzie-Green (AUT University)
Karol Czuba (AUT University)
Jennifer Angelo (Concordia University)


Hale, L. A., Jenkins, M. L., Mayland, B., Buttery, Y., Norris, P., Butler, M., … Kayes, N. (2019). Living with dementia: The felt worth of support workers. Ageing & Society. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1017/S0144686X19001636

Hale, L., Mayland, E., Jenkins, M., Buttery, Y., Norris, P., Butler, M., … Ngocha-Chaderopa, E., … Kayes, N. (2019). Constructing normalcy in dementia care: Carers' perceptions of their roles and the supports they need. Gerontologist. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1093/geront/gnz151

Wilkinson, A., Meikle, N., Law, P., Yong, H. J., Butler, P., Kim, J., Mulligan, H., & Hale, L. (2018). How older adults and their informal carers prevent falls: An integrative review of the literature. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 82, 13-19. doi: 10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2018.03.002

George, E., Hale, L., & Angelo, J. (2017). Valuing the health of the support worker in the aged care sector. Ageing & Society, 37(5), 1006-1024. doi: 10.1017/S0144686X16000131

Chang, V., Hiller, C., Keast, E., Nicholas, P., Su, M., & Hale, L. (2013). Musculoskeletal disorders in support workers in the aged care sector. Physical Therapy Reviews, 18(3), 185-206

McPherson KM, Kayes NK, Moloczij N, Cummins C. Improving the interface between informal carers and formal health and social services: A qualitative study. International Journal of Nursing Studies 2013.

Ngocha-Chaderopa NE and Boon B.(2015) Managing for quality aged residential care with a migrant workforce. Journal of Management & Organization, pp 1 - 17


Past events

2018 Symposium

Caregivers, carers, and support workers in the aged care sector.  7 June 2018.  Read more and view videos from the speakers.

2015 Symposium

2013 Symposium

July 2013

Contact us

For further information please email Prof Leigh Hale or

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