Relations between immigrant care workers and older persons in home and long-term care

Can J Aging. 2010 Mar;29(1):109-18. doi: 10.1017/S0714980809990407.


Immigrant care workers play an increasingly important role in home and long-term care in Canada, yet the full extent of their relations with older persons in those settings is relatively unknown. This article examines the role of immigrant care workers in both home and long-term care sectors, with a focus on relations with older clients and implications for quality of care. The data are derived from interviews with workers, employers, and older clients conducted in various home and long-term care services for older adults across three Canadian provinces: Ontario, British Columbia, and Quebec. Factors stemming from immigrant care workers' ethnic/racial background, language barriers, and contextual factors such as staff shortage in different care settings for older adults complicate the relationship between immigrant care workers and their clients. In some cases, these factors diminish the quality of care. We point to some policy alternatives that our findings suggest should be considered.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged / psychology*
  • Caregivers / psychology*
  • Continental Population Groups
  • Cross-Cultural Comparison
  • Emigrants and Immigrants / psychology*
  • Emotions
  • Ethnic Groups
  • Female
  • Friends
  • Home Care Services / standards*
  • Home Care Services / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Language
  • Long-Term Care / standards*
  • Nursing Homes
  • Professional-Patient Relations*
  • Quality Assurance, Health Care