ESR5: Opportunities and challenges of household-based migrant care work as a support to informal caregiving


Work package 1
ESR Oliver Fisher
Supervisor Dr. Giovanni Lamura
Co-supervisor Prof. Erik Buskens
Host institution National institute of health and science on ageing, Italy
Contact ESR o.fisher@inrca.it
Contact supervisor: g.lamura@inrca.it

Objectives: To perform a systematic analysis of different approaches, including their impact at a micro (i.e. on both care recipients and informal caregivers), meso (i.e. on care providing organisations) and macro level (i.e. on the whole long-term care system, but also in terms of possible care drain risks on migrants’ countries of origin).

Household-based care work for older people provided by privately hired domestic helpers with a migration background has become an increasing phenomenon in many European countries. Initially born as a pragmatic solution adopted by families to fill in the gaps of formal long-term care systems facing population ageing, it has become in some countries a systematic component of care provision, incorporated in different ways into the existing long-term care system. In some cases this occurred by regularly employing migrant workers as acknowledged care actors, for instance by means of accreditation and/or integration in care providers organizations; in others, it has taken the “low road” of undeclared work, thus reducing also the possibility to control for possible exploitation and/or low care quality. The ESR will first receive an in-depth training on migrant care work related issues and conduct an in-depth systematic review of the literature. Next, to gain a comprehensive picture of the issue, the ESR will carry out expert interviews, make use of the ENTWINE-iCohort data, and conduct secondary data analyses following a mixed method approach. This will allow him/her to formulate viable solutions for a better integration of this emerging form of care for older people to the formal system of destination countries, while considering the effects of this phenomenon also on migrants’ source countries.

Expected Results: This research project will allow the ESR to gain an in-depth understanding of how household-based migrant care work is affecting and changing traditional forms of informal caregiving, especially in those countries in which this phenomenon is more widespread. In particular, the project will provide extensive information on the requisites needed to let this care pattern represent a win- win situation for all involved actors, including the possibility to improve its integration within the formal care system.

Planned secondments:
Host Secondment supervisor Aim Duration
University of Groningen, the Netherlands Prof. Erik Buskens To learn about the contents, role and characteristics of informal care within the broader context of health and long-term care for dependent and frail older people, including the analysis and modelling of cost-benefits in relation to care quality and expenditures when migrant care work comes into play 3 months
Tech4Care, Italy Dr. Carlos Chiatti o gain an in-depth understanding of how household-based migrant care work can be efficiently implemented to support frail and dependent people 3 months

Outcomes