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An evaluation of the role, theory, and practice of the occupation of homemaker Auman, Jane Tate


A homemaker is an individual who is employed by a homemaking agency for the purpose of providing in-home service to specific clients. These client services involve housekeeping and/or personal care assistance. Until now little research has been done in the area of homemaking as an occupation. Therefore, this study is intended to provide research background for present and future work concerning the homemakers in the areas of their role change, theory, and practice. Using the data base obtained from supervisor case notes of homemaker clients in the years 1976 and 1980, this study attempted to look at the role changes that occurred and the discrepancy that existed between the practice of homemakers in an agency and the practice its homemakers were taught within the classroom. The sample data was derived from one hundred client files each from 1976 and from 1980. The individual files were randomly selected from the files of a large metropolitan homemaker agency within the province of British Columbia. The corresponding curriculum that was used in this study is the Homemaker Program of the Vancouver Community College, Vancouver, B.C., as taught in 1980. Methodology for this research included statistical analyses of the client file data and use of the Provus Discrepancy Evaluation Model, in which the actual practice of the homemaker and the formal curriculum of homemaker training were compared. Findings of the research are that the client of 1980 appeared to be older, was representative of a numerically smaller household, and depended on others for referral to the homemaker agency. Cross-tabulations of the years (1976 and 1980) with a variety of health and demographic indicators display statistically significant increase in 1980 of clients who had psychological and medical-surgical problems. However, child-care related problems for these clients decreased significantly in 1980. The category of homemaker practice, meaning the duties that the homemaker was indicated as having been required to perform in the client's home, also showed areas of significant statistical change. Cross-tabulations of these years indicate that personal care and housekeeping practice had increased significantly by 1980. Homemaker practice related to assistance with child care in the home decreased in 1980. A discrepancy analysis between the practice of the homemaker in the client's home and their corresponding curriculum of the homemaker training program indicated congruency for eight of the eleven practice categories. The areas of discrepancy were: 1) replace Home Care nurse (temporarily); 2) assist with the administration of medications; and 3) monitor state of health. The homemaker organization is a service oriented group in which rapid role changes are occurring, accompanied by the evidence of some apparent discrepancies between curricular theory and. actual practice.

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