New Reports Explore Global Expansion of Foreign-Born LTSS Workforce

By Natasha S. Bryant

Foreign-born nurses and personal care assistants make up an increasingly significant percentage of workers in the field of long-term services and supports (LTSS) around the world, according to new research from the Global Ageing Network and the LeadingAge LTSS Center @UMass Boston.

These immigrant/migrant workers, who come primarily from developing countries, bring myriad benefits to the LTSS organizations that employ them and the care recipients they serve, according to findings from a 2018 study by the LTSS Center.

Three new reports explore those benefits, in addition to identifying challenges associated with hiring foreign-born LTSS workers, exploring strategies to address those challenges, and providing an overview of global migration patterns and policies.


Over the course of a year, LTSS Center researchers conducted an environmental scan and held interviews with LTSS providers in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States to explore issues associated with expanding the foreign-born LTSS labor pool around the globe. Their findings are presented in 3 reports:


Increased life expectancies and the projected growth of the older population are key drivers for recent increases in the number of foreign-born LTSS workers worldwide, according to researchers.

“The sheer number of workers needed to care for an aging population with increased chronic care needs makes it imperative that new sources of workers are found,” they write. “Most researchers predict that an expanded immigrant/migrant LTSS labor pool presents one solution to meeting future workforce needs.”

One thought on “New Reports Explore Global Expansion of Foreign-Born LTSS Workforce

  1. Hi Natasha,
    I recently completed my Master’s degree in Gerontology (MAS Track) at UMass Boston. My Capstone project addressed the question: Why and how should the eldercare workforce be developed to meet current and future needs for quality care? And, what are the likely effects on direct care workers (DCW) and care outcomes? I developed a research grant proposal from it which is why the subject of your blog article is of much interest.

    Anyhow, I’m glad that this subject attracted such a high level of attention. The reported environmental scan moves us further along in our understanding of what it will take for immigration policy to play a greater role in helping to fill existing and future deficits in the paid LTSS labor pool. Recommended next steps seem reasonable and useful for increasing the numbers/size of the labor pool.

    On the matter of developing a quality LTSS workforce, we still need parallel measures to do with meaningful, new career ladder options, that allow these workers to move up, not always out of the occupation. Coincidentally, I included some interesting tests in a research proposal for a RCT that I’d be happy to discuss with you or other relevant folks at the LeadingAge LTSS Center at UMass Boston.

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