Table of Contents

International Handbook on Ageing and Public Policy

International Handbook on Ageing and Public Policy

Handbooks of Research on Public Policy series

Sarah Harper, Kate Hamblin, Jaco Hoffman, Kenneth Howse and George Leeson

The International Handbook on Ageing and Public Policy explores the challenges arising from the ageing of populations across the globe for government, policy makers, the private sector and civil society. It examines various national state approaches to welfare provisions for older people, and highlights alternatives based around the voluntary and third-party sector, families and private initiatives. The Handbook is highly relevant for academics interested in this critical issue, and offers important messages for policy makers and practitioners.

Chapter 28: Canada’s Live-in Caregiver Program

Ivy Lynn Bourgeault and Jelena Atanackovic

Subjects: economics and finance, health policy and economics, politics and public policy, public policy, social policy and sociology, ageing, comparative social policy, economics of social policy, health policy and economics


Like many developed nations, Canada has a shortage of care workers available to live in the homes of the client for whom they are providing care, and this is expected to become more acute with the aging of the population. As one way to solve such a shortage, the Live-in Caregiver Program (LCP), a federal work visa program, was created. The LCP, established in 1992, enables workers to gain entry into Canada without having to meet the qualifications of the immigration points system, family sponsorship or refugee status. Though this program has typically been a means to bring in-home child care workers to Canada, in the context of in-home care needs among older adults there has been increasing discussion about these care workers as attending to older clients (see Box 28.1). Even though previous research has identified many issues that arise with regard to experiences of live-in caregivers (Grandea and Kerr, 1998; Pratt and PWC, 2003; PINAY, 2008), many of these studies did not differentiate among different types of caregiving (elders, children or disabled people). Those that do make a distinction tend to suggest that live-in caregivers of older adults experience more favourable working and living conditions than those who take care of children. For instance, in her research on experiences of Filipino migrant domestic workers, Parrenas (2001) finds that in both Italy and the USA, elderly live-in caregivers tended to receive better wages and treatment than children live-in caregivers.

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