What factors influence the wellbeing of migrant women employed in aged care in New Zealand?

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Theses / Dissertations
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Master of Commerce
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Alwan, Sarah

An extensive review of literature, news articles and reports highlighted the challenges, shortcomings and on-going issues within the aged care sector particularly around attraction and retention of workers. Wellbeing in particular has been shown to have an impact on the attraction and retention of workers. However, there was a lack of research that explored the wellbeing of the aged care workers (ACW) and what influences impact their wellbeing. This study aimed to gain further understanding into the realities of these women and what factors are most impactful on their wellbeing. This was done by undertaking a qualitative study interviewing 18 migrant women employed in aged care in New Zealand and posed the following question:

What factors influence the wellbeing of migrant women employed in aged care?

The participants have varied backgrounds, employment histories and time within the sector. However, there were several common key themes across participants which were found to influence participant wellbeing. These were: safety; a culture of caring; mental and physical health; self-determination; and rules/education. These themes were organised into the overarching wellbeing framework of ‘Having, Doing, Loving, Being’ (HDLB), by Helne (2021) and the creation of the study’s methodology, findings and discussion were driven by the application of a migrant women centered lens (MWCL). This study has offered theoretical contributions by applying the relevant lens and wellbeing theory to ensure the most useful and accurate results.

In conclusion the study found that the participants’ wellbeing was influenced positively and negatively by several factors that related to their occupation, gender, immigration status, organisational dynamics and their personal lives. Overall, the findings suggest that migrant women employed in aged care within New Zealand can live happy fulfilling lives that include increased safety and self-determination; however, there are several industry, societal and organisational issues that prove to be extremely difficult barriers to overcome. This study concludes with practical recommendations that were discussed by participants that would improve their wellbeing and experience as migrant women employed in aged care in New Zealand.

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