In industrialized democracies, contractionist social welfare policies have transformed healthcare systems. This has led to reallocations of long-term care work that have perpetuated gender inequities. The appropriated work of female family care-givers substitutes for paid nursing work, and the household is the primary site for long-term care delivery. In this article, central premises of critical social theory are used to analyse current long-term care policy and to explicate how research facilitated the development of mixed economies of care. Problematic consequences of home caregiving are revealed through a depiction of contemporary Canadian families, a critique of the related empirical research literature, and a discussion of the assumptions that underlie long-term care policies. The article concludes with suggestions which nurse researchers could use to contribute to the reformulation of policies to render them just and equitable.