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Care Migration

A transnational job market is emerging in the field of providing care for people in their own homes.  In several collaborative projects, Careum Research is investigating various aspects of this phenomenon, which is known as "care migration".

Care migrants in domestic care provision

The demand for care and support services for people who are ill, disabled or elderly is growing – both in care homes and in private households. This is due to a combination of demographic change and an increase in chronic illnesses. A long lifespan and advances in care provision are signs of a modern society with a high standard of living. However, this high life expectancy and new forms of treatment are also giving rise to longer and more demanding care processes, regardless of age or disability. At the same time, care arrangements are increasingly shifting towards home-based services under the guiding principle of providing "outpatient over inpatient" support.

Although professional care and support services have a key role to play in domestic care provision, a transnational care market is developing in parallel with this in which care migrants are coming to work in the private households of people in need of care, often even living there as "live-in" carers. The care migrants working in private households in German-speaking Switzerland are predominantly women from Germany and EU member states in Eastern Europe. Most of them return to their home countries after an agreed period of work, sharing the service with other migrants. This is what is known as "circular migration". Careum Research is studying the phenomenon of care migration from the perspective of care provision as part of several collaborative projects.


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