Izumi Niki’s recent article, “Ethnocultural long-term care homes in Canada: A place for cultural inheritance and community building,” was recently published in the International Journal of Care and Caring. In this article, she highlights the significant role of recreation workers, residents, and family members in ethnocultural long-term care homes and questions the meaning and value of care work in long-term care facilities.
Izumi Niki is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Sociology at the University of Toronto. She is one of the co-authors of the article, “Working precariously within the social welfare system in Japan during the COVID-19 pandemic.” The authors of this article are also the co-authors of a book (in Japanese) exploring anti-oppressive practices. Izumi Niki’s current SSHRC-funded dissertation research examines care work, migration, and intersectionality for women from East Asia living in Canada.
This article discusses the overlooked role of recreation programmes in the ethnocultural and cultural-specific long-term care home from my standpoint as a recreation worker. First, the policy during the pandemic that prohibited visits by family members and volunteers revealed that they are important informal caregivers to fill in for the limitations of workers. Second, recreational programmes can also be considered as a practice of cultural inheritance: staff and volunteers learn their history and reconstruct them as collective memory. Third, the interaction between residents, volunteers, families and workers generate a sense of belonging to the ethnic community. Therefore, it can be considered a practice of community building for minority ethnic groups. By presenting the significant role of recreation workers in a long-term care home, I aim to question the meaning and value of care work in long-term care facilities.