'[It] starts with the assumption that the conditions of work are the conditions for care.'
These words from one worker capture the essential message heard by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) in researching this book.
The words apply equally to residents and to those who are employed in long-term residential care.
Long-term residential care has long been a crucial part of Canada’s care system and it is becoming increasingly so as more people live into old age and with severe disabilities.
Even though the emphasis in recent years has been on care at home, many will still need residential care. Yet not much policy or research focuses on long-term residential care, and even less starts from the perspectives of the mainly female workers or recognizes the critical relationship between the quality of working conditions and the quality of care.
"This book seeks to fill this gap by beginning with the perspective of those who are employed in long-term residential care in Nova Scotia, Manitoba and Ontario," the CCPA says.
"[It] starts with the assumption that the conditions of work are the conditions for care. By comparing our results with those from a parallel study in four Nordic countries, we show both that the way we organize the work too often leads to poor conditions for care and that there are choices to be made in organizing, funding and delivering care. Both Canada and the Nordic countries have lots of room for improvement but by comparison, the Canadian system is over-burdened, under-funded, and short-staffed. In short, this sector is neglected. They Deserve Better examines the consequences of this neglect for both workers and residents and clearly demonstrates alternatives."
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) assisted in research used in compiling the book. NUPGE was among five health care unions assisting in distribution of the study. It is entitled 'Out of Control': Violence against Personal Support Workers in Long-Term Care. Download pdf
(A significant related study on long-term care was also published by NUPGE last year. It can be downloaded here: Dignity Denied: Long-Term Care and Canada's Elderly.)
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE