Residential structures for older people
the relation between care quality and employment quality
The aim of this article is to analyse how working conditions from care workers interfere daily in the care provided in older people homes, in Portugal, and what solutions should be implemented in order to dignify care and the care worker profession. This paper is based on 150 questionnaires and 40 semi-structured interviews with care workers, in 16 Portuguese care homes, in one council in the metropolitan area of Lisbon. Findings revealed that excessive workloads and poor working conditions, coupled with high staff turnover and poor training and pay have consequences not only the quality of the care that these care workers can offer, but also their physical and mental health, job satisfaction. The high demand for social care, due to the ageing of the Portuguese population, will require better working conditions, professionalisation and the dignification of care work.
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