The next 10 years are going to see significant changes to the home care industry. Most of the basic support systems — assisting with bathing, toileting, getting dressed, and other physical supports — will likely remain the same, but with technology, the federal government’s pressure to reduce hospital readmissions, and other external factors, more aging seniors will deal with health issues in the comfort of their home as opposed to a hospital setting or nursing home.
In order to make this more practical and feasible, technology is going to be a major factor in these changes. Millions of baby boomers will reach retirement age and that’s going to place even more pressure on the industry to adjust.
According to the Forbes article, The Next 10 Years in Home Care: Looking Ahead at a Decade of Change, written by Jeff Bevis:
“For the next nine years, millions of baby boomers will continue hit the 65-years-old mark, so surging senior population growth is not going to subside. Meanwhile, a tight labor market and historically low unemployment are causing shortages of qualified caregivers. At the same time, increasing numbers of home care companies are entering the industry. This has led to an increasing realization of the value of caregiver retention and making quality hiring/recruiting a priority industry-wide.
The industry is also seeing increased licensure requirements at the state level. There are 33 states that require some form of licensure for home care today. No two states have the same requirements. This change, however, can truly be a positive development by helping raise service standards nationwide.”
There are several things that will likely happen within the industry and among external factors, including increasing awareness among the general public for the value home care offers, including cost savings compared to facility type care.
Technology is also going to lead the way, especially through the use of telehealth services. Telehealth is essentially technology that provides improved communication, whether that comes in the form of automatic health monitoring systems or communication devices. By improving these types of communication, it will allow aging seniors the opportunity to be home and in close communication with nurses and possibly their doctors.
The industry itself is likely going to be consolidated at a far more rapid pace than other industries. This will be driven by the growing need for technological investment and innovation. As financial pressures from reduced Medicaid reimbursement rates and increasing minimum wages compound together, the industry will consolidate to help the sector itself grow.