One look around the country, the news, and budgets from state to state and on the federal level and it becomes clear that there are plenty of crises blooming. However, one is causing a lot of seniors and advocates for their care a great deal of stress and anxiety and that has to do with the potential problem of in home care support.
As more seniors reach retirement age, altering the age demographics in this country dramatically, it means there will be far more seniors as a percentage of the population than ever before, and it’s also going to place an increased amount of strain and pressure on an in home care industry that’s already struggling to keep up with demand for these services.
A documentary based out of Philadelphia is shining a light on this potential crisis. Care was released recently and follows the caregiving process closely and brings viewers into the midst of what these services offer, the men and women who rely on them, and why, by 2040, when the senior population in the U.S. will double from what it is now, there won’t be enough support to go around.
Philly.com reported in its blog, Why this Philly-produced documentary may be the most important film you see this year, written by Samantha Melamed:
“A lot of care is sort of anti-drama,” said Deirdre Fishel, director of Care. The new documentary produced by Fairmount resident Tony Heriza will have its Philadelphia premiere screening Thursday. It also will be broadcast on WHYY TV12 on Sept. 7, and will be available for free streaming on the America ReFramed website from Sept. 7 to Oct. 6.
Care provides an unusually close-up vantage of the home-care industry, and of the people who — whether because of disability, disease, or advanced age — rely on it. Tracking caregivers and their clients over two years, Care depicts a system of home care that is impossibly costly for middle-class Americans, even as the wages are unsustainably low for workers, pushing them into poverty or even homelessness.”
Most people who work within this industry already understand there’s a crisis developing and even though it’s the number one job creator in the country right now, low wages and a high stress work environment is creating the perfect recipe for trouble down the road. As federal and state governments continue to slash reimbursement rates for in home health care services, it’s compounding this growing problem, and Care could be the most important documentary people see this year.
Some estimates claim that this country will need one million more home care providers by 2022 just to meet demand, and that’s barely 5 years away and little is changing with regard to wages, benefits, or being able to retain these valuable employees.
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