Caregiver Shortage

Caregiver Shortage Alert : Who is Caring for Our Seniors?

As more Baby Boomers are starting to hit the golden years, there is showing an increased need for caregivers. Because of the increase of seniors, then the demand for more home health assistants, personal health care aides, and nurse techs are growing. However, because of the comparably low pay, many people aren’t turning to these type of careers. The downside is the pay for the caregiving of a senior doesn’t even cover the rising cost of inflation.

Why the Demand for Caregivers?

One reason for the demand is the increase of seniors wanting to age in place. Aging in place is when a senior remains in their home and is assisted with daily tasks, medications, and personal care. However, home health aides, personal companions and nurse techs, caregiver pay still is only at about the minimum wage mark. If the senior doesn’t have the assistance needed, then the senior usually will end up in a senior care home.

Importance of Caregivers:

Caregiving assistance allows a senior to have support in their daily life. This can be with personal care, and hygiene, medication disbursement, light housekeeping, laundry, meal preparation and anything else needed. Without this assistance, the senior may end up in a senior care home.

Relief for Caregiving Family Members:

Professional caregivers are used for caregiving relief for family members who have caregiving responsibilities. When a family member has caregiver burnout, finding relief through a caregiving service is essential. A professional caregiver can come to the home and give a break to the family member who needs it.

Care for when Family Members are at Work:

another issue some senior’s may have who is going to care for them when their family members are at work. With a homecare aide, this problem is solved, and the family member can relax knowing the senior is well taken care of while the family member is at work.

Caregiving for Short-Term:

Some seniors need short-term care when recovering from an illness, an operation or some other medical issue. In-home caregiving has proven that seniors recover quicker with fewer reoccurrences of being sent back to the hospital because of a relapse.

Caregiving for the End of Life:

Many seniors prefer to pass away at home among familiar surroundings. Hospice caregiving is the form of caregiving needed for this type of service. A hospice caregiver will take care of the senior until they aren’t needed anymore.

Why doesn’t the Supply Meet the Demand?

So, the question is then why doesn’t the supply of caregivers meet the demand for care needed? Within the next five years, the Bureau of Labor states there will be approximately 424,000 home health assistants required, 580,000 personal care aides’ jobs open and about 300,000 nurse tech jobs in the senior care field.

  • Because of the massive shift in the demographics of new seniors, providers of home care agencies are reporting difficulty in finding and keeping healthcare workers. If the workers are available, then neither is the care.
  • The work is exhausting at times and physically demanding, and the working conditions can be difficult. If the pay doesn’t meet the difficulty of the job, the less qualified people are going to qualify.
  • Lack of proper training and job isolation contributes to the turnover among caregiving jobs which causes a shortage of workers within the industry.
  • Some caregivers only work part-time, which leaves caregivers who work full-time either working at one location or covering several to make up the hours needed.
  • Homeworkers have to complete and pass a background check, pass an evaluation for competency and have eight hours completed of training. If the potential candidates don’t pass these requirements, then they can’t be hired. Finding candidates who meet all the qualifications can be difficult and time-consuming.

The Cost of Home Health Care

The cost of home health care providers can also be a deterrent. There may be a caregiver available, but the price is more than what the senior or family members can afford.