Volunteers and informal carers’ contributions and collaboration with staff in Norwegian long-term care
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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The article illuminates and discusses the realism of policy-makers’ goals to increase involvement of volunteers and informal caregivers in long-term care services in Norway. Drawing on multiple data sources, the article investigates how commonplace volunteering and informal care are in long-term care, and it explores challenges experienced in collaboration between formal caregivers and volunteers and informal caregivers. The results show that only 4.4 percent of the Norwegian population carry out unpaid, voluntary work in long-term care. Twenty percent regularly provide informal care to someone with special care needs. Knowledge/information gaps and lacking coordination are common collaboration challenges between formal caregivers and volunteers/informal caregivers. The limitations identified in the current collaboration environment should be used actively by both policy makers and the practice field to critically assess goals and strategies for involvement and improving collaboration practices.