Foreign-born staff more than 40 percent of nursing homes Skip to content

Foreign-born staff more than 40 percent of nursing homes

More than 40 percent of the employees at the nursing home Droplaugarstadir in Reykjavík are foreign-born and a similar percentage of employees at another of the city’s nursing homes, Skjól, are of foreign origin as well.

“These nursing homes could not be operated otherwise,” director of nursing at Skjól Adalheidur Vilhjálmsdóttir told Bladid, emphasizing that the foreign-born caretakers are excellent workers though there are certain aspects of their jobs they are unable to fulfill.

“Foreign-born workers don’t converse with the elderly,” Vilhjálmsdóttir said. “We find it important that staff members chat with the residents while doing there job. The problem is not only linguistic, but also cultural. Although foreign-born workers have lived here for a long time they are not fit to discuss genealogy and these kinds of topics that the elderly are interested in.”

Ingibjörg Bernhöft, the director of nursing at Droplaugarstadir, said the percentage of foreign-born employees working at nursing homes should not be much higher than 40 percent. “We have to have people who speak Icelandic. We can’t have a large group of people who are beginners in learning the language at the same time.”

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