Migrant Workers and the Canadian Live-In Caregiver Program: the Impact on Multigenerational Family
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Filipino workers migrating overseas have put at risk the traditional model of eldercare in the Philippines. Instead of co-residing with their aging parents or guardians, migrant workers, especially women, choose to work in Canada, typically caring for Canadian children and people in the last stages of their lives. This situation raises the question of who will care for their own parents during their final years. Existing literature addresses the effects of migrant workers leaving behind their children and spouses; however, the ramifications of worker emigration on seniors, the elderly, and the infirm have not been explored to the same extent. This master’s thesis addresses the gaps in the literature by providing a qualitative examination of the impact of worker migration on traditional Filipino senior care, focusing on Live-In Caregivers in Victoria, BC, Canada. Migrant workers are able to take care for their families through remittances, which in turn pay for education, health care, and an overall higher standard of living. Primary eldercare becomes a responsibility shared by all members of the family who are left behind. Caring for the elderly is thus maintained transnationally through cultural adaptation.