Haddy Bittaye

Physical and Emotional Exhaustion of Female Caregivers Taking Care of the Elderly

in Stockholm’s Privately-Owned Nursing Homes


The caregivers working in elderly homes in Stockholm, Sweden, face severe challenges and working conditions such as a heavy workload, the poorest working conditions, highest employee sickness rate, and employment standards than in any other industry. The working atmosphere in nursing homes is physically and emotionally demanding and stressful. Time pressure is severe and affects the caregivers and the care receivers; hence, there is very little time that the caregivers can spend with the care receivers. Moreover, a significant portion of nursing home workers lacks sufficient skills in healthcare. Consequently, these challenges negatively impact caregivers emotionally and physically, thereby diminishing their well-being, family life, and the quality of care they can deliver.



The intervention developed to solve the problem is a step-by-step employee working model guide for nursing homes in Stockholm to reduce stress and burnout among caregivers and improve the quality of care delivered. The working model guide integrates several criteria meant to facilitate, manage, and simplify the tasks done in nursing homes. It can assist caregivers in organizing, prioritizing, and facilitate the execution of workload within a given timeframe and increase productivity without stress or time pressure. The working model increases team cohesion by promoting communication between caregivers and the management of nursing homes. It also reduces loneliness and abandonment in the elderly care receivers by fostering meaningful interactions between caregivers and care receivers.



A qualitative research method was applied in this study. Observations, interviews, and focus groups were conducted to learn and develop a deeper understanding of the stakeholders› challenges and problems that could help in developing person-centered interventions. For that reason, several prototypes for interventions were developed together with the stakeholders to address those issues. Therefore an employee working model guide was developed. The working model guide aims to simplify and facilitate caregivers› tasks and workload and improve working conditions in nursing homes. It could also increase the competency level of caregivers in nursing homes and reduce severe mistakes that could compromise the health of the elderly.


Key learnings

1. I learned that as a researcher being open-minded, determined, and passionate about your project is essential; it makes the task easier.

2. From the finding, I learned with all the difficulties the caregivers were facing and, most notably, the low pay; however, the low income wasn’t their biggest worry. Instead, they wanted to be appreciated and valued.

3. From this thesis project, I have discovered that my passion lies in social innovation; I want to know more about other pressing social problems and find solutions to tackle them.

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