Home Medizin Die Studie identifiziert Faktoren, die häusliche Pflegekräfte dazu veranlassen, ihren Job aufzugeben

Die Studie identifiziert Faktoren, die häusliche Pflegekräfte dazu veranlassen, ihren Job aufzugeben

von NFI Redaktion

Many of the newly established Finnish healthcare counties are aiming to reduce costs in elderly care services, particularly in 24-hour care and home care. However, the industry is facing a significant shortage of workers, leaving more and more elderly individuals, many with high support needs, to cope without adequate assistance in their own homes. According to a new study from the University of Eastern Finland, the challenges in home care have been long-standing and also affect the well-being of home care workers.

„We investigated the reasons why home care workers leave their jobs and identified four main reasons: a mismatch between the needs of older clients and the available resources; measurement-driven practices and various digital systems consuming too much time; demands on the worker and inflexibility of the job; and ethical burden.“

Marjo Ring, Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Eastern Finland

According to the researchers, home care workers should be seen as professionals who take responsibility for their work and wish to contribute to the development of their field. They expect increasingly personalized guidance and better consideration of the needs of both the employee and the client. There is also a need to discuss the values associated with the work. This requires the development of indicators for home care, as a mere focus on care procedures is not sufficient to meet the needs of older individuals. Additionally, the interaction and encounters between clients and home care workers should be prioritized.

The study examined why care workers leave their jobs from the perspective of public sector reforms and elderly care policies influenced by New Public Management (NPM) in Finland. NPM has been gaining popularity since the 1990s, striving to rationalize elderly care services through the advancement of management and the use of market-oriented thinking.

„We found that the principles of New Public Management are clearly reflected in the experiences and reasons of the care workers who leave their jobs. Decisions made at the national level on elderly care and solutions made within organizations were reflected in the daily work of home care workers, to the extent that they even had to leave their jobs,“ explains Ring.

The study was conducted as part of the SOLDEX project, which examined social exclusion in old age, particularly from the perspective of older home care clients.

„A significant proportion of those receiving regular home care live alone or with an older spouse and require a lot of support due to physical or cognitive decline. We know that there is a high risk of social exclusion among older home care clients. The services provided at home are not sufficient. The situation is extremely worrying from the perspective of those in need of home care,“ says Associate Professor Elisa Tiilikainen of the University of Eastern Finland.

The study was funded by the Finnish Work Environment Fund and the Finnish Research Council.


University of Eastern Finland Research Communications (UEF Viestintä)

Journal reference:

Ring, M., Ristolainen, H. & Tiilikainen, E. (2024). From limited resources to ethical burden – Reasons of former home care workers to leave their jobs. Journal of Applied Gerontology. doi.org/10.1177/07334648241231404.

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