Who Cares? Attracting and Retaining Care Workers for the Elderly

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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.


Shortfall in innovation: how technology, skill mix and self-care can change long-term care

This chapter discusses innovative solutions to help long-term care (LTC) workers achieve more by increasing their productivity and increasing prevention effort to delay a worsening of LTC needs. Such policies are important to allow LTC workforce focusing on essential care and make the best use of their skills. The chapter discusses three important axes of action – use of technologies, improving the skill mix and helping elderly people to age healthily – and their implications for the current LTC workforce. The analysis finds that, while such policies hold the promise of improved outcomes, workforce barriers in terms of skills, allocation of tasks and worker engagement also need to be addressed.


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