The Role of Migrant Care Workers in Ageing Societies: Context and Experiences in Ireland

  • Republic of Ireland

25th September 2009, The Irish Centre for Social Gerontology

Dr. Kieran Walsh and Professor Eamon O’Shea

This report explores the role and potential of migrant care workers in caring for older people in Ireland. The proportion of migrant carers caring for Irish older people has increased over recent years, reflecting a broader global trend in care worker migration and thus, a highly competitive global market for migrant carers.

However, there has been relatively little effort to understand the implications of these cultural changes in our care workforce. Such a gap in current knowledge means that there are questions around the demand for migrant carers in older adult care, the impact of the current economic decline on future demand, the experiences of migrant carers caring for older people and the impact of employing migrant carers on the well-being of older people. Without an understanding of the various factors that can influence the sustainability of the migrant care workforce in Ireland, our ability to identify and address regulatory and practice issues in the sector and our capacity for workforce policy and planning may be fundamentally undermined.