, Volume 3, Issue 1-2, pp 17-37
Date: 21 Dec 2010

Marginalised Care: Migrant Workers Caring for Older People in Ireland

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Abstract

Older adult care in Ireland is a mix of public, private, voluntary and family provision. This model is characterised by deficient funding and support structures for both care recipients and carers, leading ultimately to fragmented service delivery, both in the community and in residential care. Against this backdrop, there has been a significant and rapid growth in the number of migrant registered nurses and care assistants providing care to Irish older people. With two potentially marginalised groups now at the centre of the caring relationship, questions arise regarding the sustainability of quality of care and quality of life for both providers and recipients of care. This research study draws on the perspectives of the older person, the migrant carer and the employer to develop an understanding of migrant worker care provision within the disadvantaged ageing sector in Ireland. The paper will frame migrant care workers’ experiences within the perspective of a marginalised sector, whose central consumers, older people, are not prioritised in policy or practice. Providing evidence of disadvantage for older adults and migrant carers, the research findings demonstrate that it is necessary to improve caring experiences and conditions for both groups if quality of care is to be enhanced.