Essential Long-Term Care Workers Commonly Hold Second Jobs and Double- or Triple-Duty Caregiving Roles.
OBJECTIVES: Long-term care (LTC) facilities are particularly dangerous places for the spread of COVID-19 given that they house vulnerable high-risk populations. Transmission-based precautions to protect residents, employees, and families alike must account for potential risks posed by LTC workers' second jobs and unpaid care work. This observational study describes the prevalence of their (1) second jobs, and (2) unpaid care work for dependent children and/or adult relatives (double- and triple-duty caregiving) overall and by occupational group (registered nurses [RNs], licensed practical nurses [LPNs], or certified nursing assistants [CNAs]). DESIGN: A descriptive secondary analysis of data collected as part of the final wave of the Work, Family and Health Study. SETTING: Thirty nursing home facilities located throughout the northeastern United States. PARTICIPANTS: A subset of 958 essential facility-based LTC workers involved in direct patient care. MEASUREMENTS: We present information on LTC workers' demographic characteristics, health, features of their LTC occupation, additional paid work, wages, and double- or triple-duty caregiving roles. RESULTS: Most LTC workers were CNAs, followed by LPNs and RNs. Overall, more than 70% of these workers agreed or strongly agreed with this statement: "When you are sick, you still feel obligated to come into work." One-sixth had a second job, where they worked an average of 20 hours per week, and more than 60% held double- or triple-duty caregiving roles. Additional paid work and unpaid care work characteristics did not significantly differ by occupational group, although the prevalence of second jobs was highest and accompanying work hours were longest among CNAs. CONCLUSION: LTC workers commonly hold second jobs along with double- and triple-duty caregiving roles. To slow the spread of COVID-19, both the paid and unpaid activities of these employees warrant consideration in the identification of appropriate clinical, policy, and informal supports. J Am Geriatr Soc 68:1657-1660, 2020.
Van Houtven, CH; DePasquale, N; Coe, NB
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