People live with age-related heath conditions (e.g. dementia, chronic heart disease, chronic respiratory disease) for many years and require increasing care as conditions progress. In China, such care is largely provided by families. However, the impact of the one-child policy, which will continue for several decades, means that a lot of care duties fall on single children. Caregiving affects carers’ ability to work. They may withdraw, reduce hours or work less effectively. Sophisticated modelling based on dementia care suggests that the workforce impact (including through effects on carers) costs more than the provision of direct condition-related health services. In this context, it is vital to consider ways to reduce the impact of caring on Chinese carers in the workforce.
Aim This doctorate will focus on how to best support those in the Chinese workforce who are caring for parents or grand-parents who need support due to long-term health conditions.
Objectives • To find out how a large company is affected by issues related to employees who have caring responsibilities and how the company manages/foresees managing these • To find out how a sample of carers, working in that company, are affected by caring for relatives, what the impacts are on their working lives, what social networks they have to draw upon, and how they manage or could better manage competing responsibilities • To develop feasible evidence-based recommendations for support to enable those affected to balance work and caring.
Methods The student will undertake a collective case study of one company by gathering varied information from a number of sources to understand how caring responsibilities are affecting the workforce and company. The student will link with Sichuan University to have local support and mentorship. The student and supervisory team will identify a company to work with as a partner throughout the study. All methods will need to be negotiated in partnership with the Chinese partners to ensure fitness for purpose and acceptability.
Student support This doctorate will have an inter-disciplinary supervisory team combining psychology, sociology, management, dementia and gerontology expertise. The University of Bradford Centre for Applied Dementia Studies is an internationally recognised centre of excellence. There is a thriving community of doctoral students who join Centre research meetings and participate in a wide range of learning opportunities with post-graduate students across the Faculty of Health Studies. This study links with ongoing research on ethnicity, caregiving and dementia and that within the Patient Safety Translational Research Centre, in which the School of Pharmacy and Medical Science and the Faculty of Health have a key presence. The University has a reputation for applied research that makes a difference in the real world and has a complement of overseas research students including from China.