Invisible Women

Gender and the Shifting Division of Labour in Long-term Residential Care

In this project, Tamara Daly (Primary Investigator) and Co-Investigators Pat Armstrong and Karen Messing explore gender in relation to informal care provided long-term residential care by people other than employees. Whether paid or unpaid carers, informal caregivers are virtually invisible in research and policy. This research was an initial attempt to address this significant gap. The researchers surveyed nursing and retirement homes in Ontario, and conducted interviews and detailed observations in a number of facilities in Toronto.

They asked residents and carers to elicit answers on the following questions:

  1. How has the division of labour shifted for facility employees due to the work performed by informal carers (i.e. paid private duty carers, students, volunteers and family members)?
  2. In what ways are workloads and occupational health and safety in the facilities affected by the care performed by these other carers?
  3. Finally, how do we understand the amount of time available for care (e.g. staff intensity) when we account for work performed by other carers?

Several students, postdocs, and research associates have been involved in this research project, including:

Ruth Lowndes, Charlotte Rowell, Vishaya Naidoo, Iffath Syed, Martin Chadoin, Julia Brassolotto, Martha Cope, Magali Rootham, Alison Jenkins Jayman, Katherine Laxer, Guytano Virdo, Polly Ford-Jones, and Tanya Son.

Please click here for a list of publications, presentations and other products from the Invisible Women Project.