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Who Cares? Attracting and Retaining Care Workers for the Elderly

image of Who Cares? Attracting and Retaining Care Workers for the Elderly

This report presents the most up-to-date and comprehensive cross-country assessment of long-term care (LTC) workers, the tasks they perform and the policies to address shortages in OECD countries. It highlights the importance of improving working conditions in the sector and making care work more attractive and shows that there is space to increase productivity by enhancing the use of technology, providing a better use of skills and investing in prevention.

Population ageing has outpaced the growth of workers in the long-term care (LTC) sector and the sector struggles with attracting and retaining enough workers to care for those dependent on others for care. Non-standard work is widespread, pay levels tend to be lower than similar-qualification jobs in other health sectors, and LTC workers experience more health problems than other health workers. Further, educational requirements tend to be insufficient to perform more demanding and growing tasks of LTC. With growing demand for care at home, better co-ordination between the health and long-term care sectors and between formal and informal careers is needed.

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Executive summary

The COVID‑19 crisis is hitting the long-term care (LTC) sector very hard, both because of the large numbers of people dependent on care falling ill and because of the added exposure of LTC workers to infections. The pandemic is highlighting LTC’s structural problems in terms of insufficient staffing, poor job quality and insufficient skills, all of which have a toll on quality of care and safety.

English

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