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Female caregivers for elderly relatives in Russia: social barriers and stereotypes


  • Tatiana Smirnova Department of Organizational Development; Russian State University for the Humanities, Moscow, Russia
  • Roman Smirnov Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheva, Israel


elderly people, board and care home, female caregiver


The article presents the results of a study in which gender issues are shown using the example of variations in home and institutional care for elderly relatives. The objects of the study were women - close relatives of elderly people living in private boarding houses. The authors conclude that social factors such as gender stereotypes, stigmatization, and negative stereotyping of any form of care, except for home care, are the main barriers to turning to institutional forms of care and alleviating the plight of caring women. It is these factors that mainly hinder the development of alternative forms of care for an elderly person, which could provide professional care at a modern level, as well as contribute to an improvement in the quality of life of caring women. Conducting a study during a pandemic with limited opportunities for a personal meeting of an informant and an interviewer became the basis for using, along with traditional, a series of digital interviews, which allowed the authors to draw a number of conclusions about the application of new methods to sensitive gender issues.


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