Gov­ern­ment an­nounces plan to re­lax re­stric­tions on hir­ing for­eign care­givers

The China Post - - LOCAL -

The Min­istry of La­bor said Fri­day it will re­lax re­stric­tions on hir­ing for­eign care­givers for el­derly peo­ple with mi­nor dis­abil­i­ties start­ing Satur­day, a move it said will ben­e­fit 35,000 se­nior cit­i­zens.

The min­istry said it will ex­pand the cri­te­ria of those el­i­gi­ble to hire a for­eign care­giver to any­one aged 85 or over who meets at least one vari­able ad­dressed in the Barthel in­dex, a scale used to mea­sure the ex­tent to which peo­ple can func­tion in­de­pen­dently in daily live.

As the health of el­derly peo­ple can de­te­ri­o­rate quickly, leav­ing them more in­ca­pac­i­tated in a rel­a­tively short pe­riod of time, the new mea­sure can bet­ter pro­tect them by mak­ing more man­power avail­able to help them, the min­istry said.

Un­der ex­ist­ing reg­u­la­tions, se­nior cit­i­zens over the age 80 must be di­ag­nosed to be badly in need of home care and score be­low 60 on the Barthel In­dex to be en­ti­tled to hire a for­eign care­giver.

Those un­der 80 must be deemed to need full-time as­sis­tance at home and score lower than 35 on the Barthel In­dex to be el­i­gi­ble for a for­eign care­giver.

The fac­tors con­sid­ered in the in­dex in­clude the de­gree to which peo­ple can feed, bathe, groom and dress them­selves, go to the bath­room, walk around or climb stairs.

In re­sponse to con­cerns over the mea­sure’s po­ten­tial im­pact on do­mes­tic work­ers, the min­istry said in July that based on a sur­vey it con­ducted, it found that open­ing the mar­ket to more for­eign care­givers will not af­fect the em­ploy­ment of Tai­wanese home nurses or clean­ers.

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