Home Care

Home care has become an increasingly critical issue in Canada as health care reforms transfer more care, more complex care, and the costs of care away from the public system to the home. “Home Care” can mean many things and varies across the country in terms of the diversity of households, individual care needs, and the culture, gender, economic status and geography for those receiving and those providing care. But generally, home care includes both paid and unpaid care, the coordination and management of care, assistance with daily living tasks, social and emotional support, and increasingly, personal, medical or nursing care.

The creation of a hidden health care system in the home particularly affects women as the providers and recipients of care. In Canada, women have often provided the bulk of paid, unpaid and voluntary care work. However, in the current social context, women are often conscripted into the provision of more complicated forms of care in households where fewer people are available to provide care. While home care may be rewarding, provide a supportive and flexible environment care can also have long-term consequences for women in terms of their health, financial well-being, their work, safety, and consequently, the quality of care they can give and receive.

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