Ageing Population: Need for Formal Care Workers

  • Bharti BirlaEmail author


The world population is ageing, and the number of elderly needing care and support will grow further in coming years. The challenges are twofold. Firstly, most of the elderly fall outside the social protection net (e.g. they do not have pensions, healthcare insurance, savings), which means that it is difficult to pay for care services. Secondly, there is a general lack of state provision of care services for the elderly. In most cases, the family provides such care and support. Most often, the women of the household discharge this responsibility. When families can afford, they can take services of the paid care workers, freeing the women in the household to take up paid employment. The feminized nature of care work, undervaluation of women’s work in general and lack of legislations that recognize and regulate paid domestic work and care work, often pushes care workers in precarious employment relationships with poor working conditions and low wages. The demand for paid care elderly care, especially long-term care and support, is increasing, but there is an acute shortage of professionally skilled domestic workers who can provide elderly care services.


Elderly Ageing population Care workers Domestic workers Social protection Skilled workers Feminization of care services Paid employment 


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.International Labour OrganizationDWT for South Asia and Country Office for IndiaNew DelhiIndia

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