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The Role of Migrant Care Workers in Ageing Societies

Report on Research Findings in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada and the United States

image of The Role of Migrant Care Workers in Ageing Societies
This report represents the comparative results of a research project on the role of migrants in the workforce of caregivers for the elderly in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada and the United States. The purpose of the study is to examine 1) the contextual factors influencing current and future demand for care workers in an ageing society, particularly migrant care workers, 2) the experiences of migrant workers, of their employers, and of older people in institutional care (residential and nursing care homes) and in home-based care; 3) the implications of the employment of migrant workers in the care of older people for the working conditions of the migrants concerned and for the quality of care; 4) the implications of these findings for the future care of older people and for migration policy and practice.

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Relationship between older adults and their migrant care workers

In addition to interviews with migrant caregivers, discussions and interviews were conducted with older people who were currently receiving care services in institutional and home care settings and some who were prospective care users, in order to explore perceptions and experiences of the relationship between foreign caregivers and older people. In general, elderly clients expressed positive feelings toward foreign-born caregivers and were more concerned with the quality of care than the source. Factors that were found to contribute to constraints on the care relationship between clients and caregivers included language and communication issues, as well as factors relating to broader constraints on the quality of care, notably staff shortages and lack of time available to caregivers to attend to the needs of elderly clients, including time to form strong relationships.

English

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