A documentary on Norwegian TV and a survey by the FOA trade union in Denmark expose similar problems facing workers in eldercare as they have too many clients, leaving those requiring care regularly seeing lots of different carers for short periods of time. Reacting to the documentary the Fagforbundet trade union highlighted the problem of so many care staff working part-time, chasing shifts to try to make ends meet and being part of a continuing turnover of staff so that there is little continuity for those needing care. In Denmark, the FOA argues that staff spend too little time with those in their care and it has already put forward proposals that carers need to be able to work in autonomous teams and ensure that they can build a proper relationship with those in their care.
Documentary and survey expose challenges in eldercare staffing
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The FOA services union has commented on a television documentary that reveals very poor levels of care at a private home that was supposed to be a beacon for private care in the country. FOA argues that this clearly shows that care cannot be delivered on the cheap, noting that both residents and staff made complaints and with problems created by inadequate staffing levels. Read more at > FOA (DK)
The FOA public services union is calling on the government and municipalities to take urgent action to tackle staffing shortages in eldercare. A recent survey found that three out of four local authorities didn't have enough eldercare staff and the situation is set to deteriorate as many workers retire. The sector needs around 13000 new recruits every year but the level is currently half that. The union says that employers use a lot of part-time work to save money and while many employees in the sector actually want to work full time. There is also a question of higher pay for young workers.
The FNV trade union has submitted proposals to the government to set staffing levels in eldercare. The union wants to see two workers for every eight residents and emphasises that there should be a balance of different skill levels. FNV argues that this is a crucial measure that will help improve recruitment and retention in the sector by ensuring that workers are not overworked and have enough time to spend with clients.