50% of home care providers have experienced harassment: survey

Around 50 percent of home care providers reported in a recent government survey that they had experienced some form of harassment by those being cared for, Kyodo News learned Sunday.
In the first extensive survey conducted by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare on people working in the nursing care industry, 81 percent of those reporting harassment said they had been psychologically abused at least once in 2018.
The survey, part of which was obtained by Kyodo, was based on responses from 10,112 people working for 2,155 nursing service providers, of whom 2,532 were involved in home care.
Those who were psychologically harassed typically reported hostile behavior and verbal abuse.
Around 42 percent of those reporting harassment had been physically abused, with reported cases including objects being thrown at care providers, while 37 percent said they had been sexually harassed, according to the survey.
Of those providing home care, 17 percent said they had been abused by relatives of those being cared for.
Harassment of home care providers has become a serious problem, particularly as many of them are women who visit private homes alone.
In August last year, the Nippon Careservice Craft Union, a national labor union formed by nursing care workers, submitted a petition to the labor ministry asking for better legal protection against sexual and other forms of harassment at work. It also urged the government to provide subsidies so two home care workers can attend each client.
Asked why harassment occurred, 43 percent said clients and their family members did not understand the range of services they were entitled to, while 39 percent said home care work was undervalued.

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