Time to care? : Temporal variations of agency of the Finnish adult foster carers
Leinonen, E. (2020). Time to care? : Temporal variations of agency of the Finnish adult foster carers. Journal of Aging Studies, 52, Article 100830. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaging.2019.100830
Published inJournal of Aging Studies
DisciplineIkääntymisen ja hoivan tutkimuksen huippuyksikköYhteiskuntapolitiikkaCentre of Excellence in Research on Ageing and CareSocial and Public Policy
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© 2019 Elsevier Inc
This article analyses a hybrid form of housing and care service for older people called adult foster care. In Finnish adult foster care model, an older person moves to a foster care home and is cared for by a semi-professional foster carer who is not related to them. A foster care home is thus simultaneously a personal dwelling and a site of intensive care work which also changes the rhythms and routines of both the foster carer and older person. In the article I ask, how do foster carers express their temporal agency and its variations (identity, pragmatic, life course) through time work? By temporal agency I mean individuals' ability to impact on their experience of time, which is done through time work. The article is based on 12 thematic interviews that were analysed using thematic content analysis. The analysis shows that as a resource, time itself was the most valued aspect of foster care work. Being a foster carer was in fact a way of resisting clock-driven, institutional-like care work. The foster carers were able to exercise their professional identity agency, that is, act like ‘a good carer’ should act, but they found it difficult to allocate time for themselves and to their families. This can endanger their well-being and the continuity of foster care relationship. In order to develop the adult foster care scheme to a real housing and care option for older people and a tenable work option for potential foster carers, several issues should be carefully considered. To ensure foster carers' well-being, their statutory right to days-off should be increased, and the support and substitute system should be enhanced so that foster carers can allocate more time for themselves and their families, even when this would mean more costs to the municipalities. Also, older people in need of care should be placed to foster care much earlier. ...
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Related funder(s)Academy of Finland
Funding program(s)Centre of Excellence, AoF
Additional information about fundingWarm thanks to the editor, reviewers and my supervisors, Professor Teppo Kröger and Academy Research Fellow, Research Director Mia Tammelin, and also Dr. Helena Hirvonen, for their useful insights and comments. This study is conducted at the University of Jyväskylä as part of the Centre of Excellence in Research on Ageing and Care (CoE AgeCare, 312303) funded by the Academy of Finland.
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