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Care workers under pressure - A comparison of the work situation in Swedish home care 2005 and 2015
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
Number of Authors: 12020 (English)In: Health & Social Care in the Community, ISSN 0966-0410, E-ISSN 1365-2524, Vol. 28, no 1, p. 137-147Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

As in many Western countries, eldercare services in Sweden have changed dramatically over recent decades. Population ageing, ageing-in-place policies, pressures to contain costs and organisational reforms linked to New Public Management are challenging public home care. There is, however, limited knowledge about how the job content and working conditions have changed in the Swedish home care across this period. This article aims to analyse and compare the work situation in the Swedish home care in 2005 and 2015. The analysis is based on the international Nordcare survey and draws on the subsample of respondents working in Swedish home care 2005 and 2015 (n = 371). The data were analysed with bivariate and multivariate methods. The results suggest that, overall, the work situation of home-care workers was worse in 2015 compared to 2005. For example, those surveyed in 2015 reported meeting a larger number of clients per day, receiving less support from their supervisors, and having less time to discuss difficult situations with colleagues and considerably less scope to affect the planning of their daily work. Care workers in 2015 were also more mentally exhausted than those surveyed in 2005. In addition, the workers in 2015 experienced an accumulation of work-related problems. Deteriorating working conditions could be related to cutbacks and organisational reforms, and evidence suggests that home-care workers are paying a high price for ageing-in-place policies. Improvements of the work situation in home care are necessary not only to ensure the quality of care for older people, but also to ensure workers' well-being and to recruit and retain care workers, and thus, to meet the future needs for home care in an ageing society.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2020. Vol. 28, no 1, p. 137-147
Keywords [en]
ageing-in-place, home care, job content, New Public Management, work situation, working conditions
National Category
Social Work
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-177795DOI: 10.1111/hsc.12848ISI: 000499685100015PubMedID: 31507018OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-177795DiVA, id: diva2:1386931
Available from: 2020-01-20 Created: 2020-01-20 Last updated: 2020-01-20Bibliographically approved

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