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Working Conditions in Home Care: Comparing Three Groups of Workers*

  • Sheila M. Neysmith (a1) and Barbara Nichols (a2)

Abstract

This paper explores similarities and differences in the way caring work is experienced by kin, homemakers and volunteers. Under the conceptual umbrella of working conditions, issues of work milieu, isolation, communication, feedback, autonomy, motivation and choice are compared across these three groups of care providers. Although the functional capacities of the elderly persons receiving care were quite similiar, the circumstances that surrounded the performance of caring were quite different. The paper argues that the context within which care is provided will be critical in future policy discussions. It is suggested that the specific task content of providing care may be of secondary importance to understanding the context within which care providers carry out these activities.

Cette étude porte sur les similitudes et les différences entre les méthodes de soins utilisées par trois groupes de prestateurs de soins, soit les proches parents, les femmes au foyer et les bénévoles. Dans le contexte des conditions de travail, des questions ayant trait au milieu de travail, à l'isolement, à la communication, aux réactions, à l'autonomie, à la motivation et au choix font l'objet d'une comparaison au sein de ces trois groupes. Même si les capacités fonctionnelles des personnes âgées bénéficiant des soins étaient semblables, les circonstances touchant la prestation de soins variaient beaucoup. L'étude démontre que le contexte au sein duquel les soins sont prodigués représente un élément clé dans le cadre de discussions futures en matière d'établissement de politiques. Elle suggère que les tâches particulières relatives à la prestation de soins ne sont qu'un élément secondaire servant à comprendre le contexte dans lequel chaque prestateur de soins accomplit son travail.

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References

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Canadian Journal on Aging / La Revue canadienne du vieillissement
  • ISSN: 0714-9808
  • EISSN: 1710-1107
  • URL: /core/journals/canadian-journal-on-aging-la-revue-canadienne-du-vieillissement
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