Government announces plan to relax restrictions on hiring foreign caregivers
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.