Relationships between elderly care recipients and their migrant live-in home care workers in Israel. Academic Article uri icon


  • In Israel more than 54,000 immigrant live-in home care workers are providing personal care to frail elders. These home care workers emigrate from various countries and different cultures, speak other languages, and have other religions. The purposes of this study were: (a) to examine the patterns of the interpersonal relationships that develop between disabled elderly persons who were being cared for by migrant live-in home care workers, and (b) to explore the factors that best explain the patterns of these relationships. A convenience sample that included 100 frail elderly people was selected and respondents were face-to-face interviewed at their homes, using a structured questionnaire. The findings showed that the relationships that developed between migrant live-in home care workers and elderly care recipients were close and that language was not a significant barrier in establishing close relationships between them. Further, the findings showed that perceived similarity in personal qualities played the most significant role in determining the extent to which the relationships between them will be close. A similar cultural background such as ethnicity, and nonverbal and good understanding, rather than speaking a common language, were significant factors in facilitating close relationships.

publication date

  • January 1, 2010