Aged Care Institutions Management: A study of management’s engagement strategies to support migrant careworkers’ delivery of quality elderly care.

by Nyemudzai Esther Ngocha-Chaderopa

Institution: University of Otago
Year: 0
Keywords: Migrant Careworkers; New Zealand
Record ID: 1304057
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/10523/4968


One of the most significant phenomenon in Western industrialised societies today is a demographic shift towards an ageing population. Improved access to better nutrition, medical care, and a growing awareness of the importance of healthy eating and exercise, have all contributed to increased life expectancies (Hussein & Manthorpe, 2005; Stone, Dawson, and Harahan, 2003). The increase in the number of those aged 65 and above has in turn led to a dramatic rise in demand for aged care services. In the same vein, the factors that account for increased life expectancies have also caused a reduction in fertility rates resulting in reduced numbers of young people who, ideally, should look after the ageing members of the population. The elderly dependency ratio has therefore continued to rise (Badkar, Callister and Didham, 2009; Hussein & Manthorpe, 2005). Coupled with this are trends that show that increasingly less young people in most of the Western industrialised world consider caring for the elderly an attractive career to pursue. To compound this elder care labour supply problem, it has become evident that most households are also growing smaller and becoming more geographically mobile as family members move around seeking better work opportunities. This has culminated in the formal and informal care-workforce failing to cope adequately with the burgeoning demand for aged care services (Walsh and O’Shea, 2009). In response to the growing gap between caregiver supply and demand, the Western countries, New Zealand included, have increasingly resorted to the employment of migrants as carers. From an academic perspective, very little is known about the implications of the increased participation of migrants in elder care delivery because research in this field is still in its infancy. In this regard, this qualitative research explores the management implications of the increased internationalization of the workforce in the Aged Care Sector in New Zealand especially in the context of quality care conceptualisation and delivery. The literature reviewed raised a number of fundamental issues regarding migrants’ participation as carers in the aged care sector (Walsh and O’Shea, 2009; Cangiano et al., 2009; Spencer, Ruhs, Anderson, & Rogaly, 2007). One of these issues is that the participation of migrants has introduced an intercultural element to how elder care is conceptualised, delivered, consumed and judged. The influence of culture on quality care delivery is further complicated by the largely intangible dimension of care. In this regard one of the major challenges impinging on the delivery of quality care, ironically, emanates from the elusiveness of the concept of ‘care’. Most of the extant studies show that elderly patients value the intangible dimensions of care, such as communication, attitude and tone of voice, more than the technical aspects of care provision (Perucca, 2001). However, because of the participation of migrants as carers, the definition of what is ‘acceptable attitude’, ‘acceptable tone of voice’ or…