Can non-Austrians be independent caregivers?

Citizens of EU countries, EEA member countries, and Switzerland enjoy freedom of establishment and may carry out business in Austria. Nationals of what are called third countries need a residence permit. If foreign entrepreneurs want to offer their services in Austria, they must register with the trade authority, as do Austrians. If they are authorised to conduct business that includes caregiving in an EU or EEA member state or Switzerland, these entrepreneurs may transfer this work under certain conditions and for limited periods from their home country to Austria.

Professional local placement companies ensure that you or your family members are cared for by legitimate independent caregivers.

What happens if an emergency or symptoms of an illness occur in the person requiring care?

In an emergency, such as a significant deterioration of the general condition of the person requiring care, independent caregivers must act in accordance with the mandatory guidelines established in the caregiving contract and take the relevant measures, for example calling an ambulance, carrying out first aid, contacting family members.

What happens in the case of temporary impairment or if the independent caregiver is not available?

Independent caregivers are obliged to provide the contracted services. If they are prevented from doing this or want to go on holiday, they must provide a replacement. No separate caregiving contract is drawn up between the replacement and the person requiring care. This replacement may be freely chosen by the independent caregiver, but it is advisable to select them in agreement with the person requiring care or their family members. A contractual agreement between the actual caregiver and their replacement is recommended.


The replacement may only perform nursing activities if they have been transferred to them by medical professionals in accordance with legal requirements.

How is the exchange between two or more regular independent caregivers organised?

If two or more independent caregivers work alternately for one person, a separate caregiving contract is concluded with each of the caregivers. 

Establishing guidelines for the changeover - particularly concerning the information about the condition of the person requiring care and the transfer of the housekeeping book - is recommended. 

What rules of conduct do independent caregivers have to consider?

In particular, they have to comply with trade regulations, follow the ethical rules and rules of practice and the contractual guidelines, furthermore, they must do everything to avoid a risk to health, life, and limb of the person requiring care, work with others involved in their care, and finally maintain absolute confidentiality about all aspects of the person requiring care.

What behaviour of independent caregivers would be described as unprofessional?

It is considered unprofessional if, for example, independent caregivers do not offer their services truthfully
Provide services without being commissioned or authorised for them
Receive or make payments without authorisation
Withhold entrusted objects or values ​​without authorisation

How does a caregiving contract end?

If a caregiving contract is concluded for a fixed period, it ends on the specified date. The caregiving contract should provide for termination after the possible demise of the person requiring care and a regular termination option with a notice period. According to general legal principles, in certain circumstances extraordinary termination is possible, such as if there is loss of confidence between the parties which makes a continuation of the caregiving job unacceptable for either of the parties.

Numbers, data, facts

The number of people who were 65 or older in Austria in 1990 was 14.9 percent, in 2014 it had increased to 18.4 percent. And by 2030, statistics estimate that more than 23 percent of people will be over 65. Source: Austrian Statistics Office

The life expectancy of men at birth was an average of 72.2 in 1990 and had risen to 78.9 years by 2014. By 2030, the average life expectancy of Austrian men is expected to further increase to above 82 years. Source: Austrian Statistics Office

By 1990, the average life expectancy of Austrian women at birth was 78.9 years. By 2014, it had increased to 83.7 years. By 2030, the Statistics Office anticipates a further increase up to 86.7 years. Source: Austrian Statistics Office

In 1990, around 814,000 Austrians lived in one-person households, in 2014 it had increased to 1,395,000, and in 2030 it will be 1,617,000 according to statistical estimations. Source: Austrian Statistics Office

115,000 to 130,000 people with dementia are currently living in Austria according to current estimates. Experts estimate this figure will double because of the continuous rise in the average age of the population alone.

In 2050, there will be about 17 employable Austrians for every person suffering from dementia. In 2000, the ratio was still 1 for every 60, in 2010 it was 1 in 50, in 2020 it will be 1 in 40. (Source: Austrian dementia report 2014)

Between 2007 and 2015, almost 170,000 people registered for the trade of caregiving in Austria.

Nearly 57,000 independent caregivers were working in Austria in 2015; nearly 77,000 had a valid business licence.

The vast majority of independent caregivers come from the EU countries Slovakia and Romania, followed by Hungary.


Professional local placement companies ensure that you or your family members are cared for by legitimate independent caregivers.

According to a survey, 90 percent of independent caregivers with specific work in the family for whom they work in Austria are very satisfied or satisfied. About 80 per cent were very satisfied or satisfied with their general situation as caregivers in Austria. About 60 percent said they felt like a member of the family they were working for.