At this point in time, it’s not much surprise to those within the home care industry that a shortage is looming. The Baby Boomer generation is now retiring and that means the percentage of the U.S. population considered ‘elderly’ will be growing. By 2050, the number of seniors in the country will be doubled what it is now, and if home care support is not available to those who need it, something will have to give.
More people today prefer to avoid the troubles of other senior care options and instead remain at home, where they’re comfortable. Unfortunately, for some who can’t afford home care aides or visiting nurses, or for whom availability is an issue, they might not be able to.
Currently, as wage and benefit demands increase for these aides and as Medicaid reimbursements decline, and a perfect storm of circumstances press in on the industry, there’s growing concern that there won’t be enough caregivers for this aging population.
ABC News 10 reports in the blog, Home care worker shortage looms as boomers age, written by Sarah Moore:
“California home care agencies must fulfill certain requirements, including criminal background checks for workers. Home care aids who do not work for an agency do not have to be registered on the Home Care Services Bureau database, but it is ‘highly recommended’ that they go through the certification process as well “to provide clients with the sense of security they are seeking,” according to information posted on the California Department of Social Services website.
But the problem of finding qualified home care workers isn’t exclusive to California. Nationwide, the shortage has raised concerns about the potential for harm to the elderly and disabled going without care.”
Low wages don’t often attract quality workers and in an industry that is plagued by this problem, with a high stress job, turnover is also high and that means it’s becoming more and more difficult for agencies to attract quality workers with integrity.
Across the country, states are grappling with serious budgets concerns, and some of them are turning to home care as a place to try and save money in the short run. This is raising alarms among advocates for seniors who can envision a shortage so severe it will drive men and women in need to options they never would have considered just a few short years ago.
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