“I Am the Home Care Agency”: The Dementia Family Caregiver Experience Managing Paid Care in the Home

Jennifer M. Reckrey, Deborah Watman, Emma K. Tsui, Emily Franzosa, Sasha Perez, Chanee D. Fabius, Katherine A. Ornstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


As the locus of long-term care in the United States shifts from institutions to the community, paid caregivers (i.e., home health aides, personal care attendants) are providing more hands-on care to persons with dementia living at home. Yet, little is known about how family caregivers engage with paid caregivers. We conducted in-depth, semi-structured interviews (n = 15) with family caregivers, of persons living at home with severe dementia, and enriched our findings with data from a second cohort of family caregivers of persons with dementia (n = 9). Whether paid caregivers were hired privately or employed via a Medicaid-funded agency, family caregivers reported that they needed to manage paid caregivers in the home. Core management tasks were day-to-day monitoring and relationship building with family caregivers; training paid caregivers and coordinating care with homecare agencies was also described. In order to support family caregivers of individuals with dementia at home, it is important consider their preferences and skills in order to effectively manage paid caregivers. Support of efforts to build a high-quality paid caregiving workforce has the potential to improve not only care delivered to persons with dementia, but the experiences of their family caregivers.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1311
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2022


  • Caregiver burden
  • Family caregiving
  • Home and community-based services
  • Home care workers
  • Paid caregiving


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