As more Americans reach retirement age, there is growing demand for certain services, including home health care. With that increase in demand, there comes with it a greater need for home care nurses.
As people reach advancing years, the risk of chronic and multiple health issues increases, leaving a few options available to them. Many of these elderly men and women may spend significant time in a hospital environment or be given the option of nursing home care. However, the majority often prefer to remain at home, if at all possible.
With in–home health care nurses and other providers, it is possible, but with an expected shortage of workers, there may be too many aging seniors unable to receive the kind of care and assistance they require at home. The federal government as well as private insurance companies have placed greater emphasis on more cost-effective care options, which include visiting nurses and home care aides.
The Atlantic Journal-Constitution noted in its news blog, 5 things to know about being a home care nurse, written by Mary Caldwell:
“And with 75 percent of Americans over age 65 having multiple chronic health conditions such as diabetes or dementia, the need for home health care is enormous. Indeed, as insurance companies try to keep sick seniors out of hospitals and nursing homes when possible, according to CNBC, the job outlook for home health care nurses is expected to grow by 19 to 26 percent over the next 10 years, which is much faster than most professions.”
However, even with this increased value placed on in-home care support, there remains a shortage of qualified workers to fill the open positions. As a result, there’s a concerted effort among some agencies and organizations to reach out and recruit more people to the calling of a visiting nurse.
While visiting nurses may not be subject to the same stagnant wages that a home care aide has faced, the pay may not be appealing, especially compared to other private health care opportunities. Also, many of these in-home health care providers are required to have more essential items with them on each visit, which may not be as necessary in a private setting.
There’s often more traveling involved, but also more independence. Some of these visiting nurses will also be required to improvise and be creative as they support and assist a wide range of clients with numerous cultural backgrounds, expectations, and limitations in a range of living environments.