Impending caregiver shortage – West Newsmagazine
A large majority of seniors now say that continuing to live in their own homes while receiving the care and help they may need is how they want to age. In fact, nearly 80% of adults over 50 would choose to age in place, according to a recent AARP report.
This shift towards a preference for home care is occurring alongside a major shift in the American population. Statistics show that about 10,000 baby boomers turn 65 every day, and one in five Americans will be 65 or older by 2030.
These realities will soon lead to a significant shortage of paid workers providing home care services. In fact, a national deficit of over 150,000 caregivers will exist in less than 10 years, and there will be more than 355,000 fewer caregivers than needed by 2040, according to research.
In order to meet this growing demand, major changes will need to be made to the compensation, benefits and retention efforts for these workers, he concluded. Members of the nursing profession will also need to receive greater societal recognition and recognition of their role as essential health workers.
Raising wages in the care industry to attract more workers is probably the most critical need highlighted in the report. In the United States, median annual earnings of home helpers are now on average less than $ 20,000, well below the poverty line for a family of four.
Retention of workers is another key issue. The demanding nature of the work of home caregivers, coupled with the low wages they typically receive, has created an alarming turnover rate of 40-60% per year in the industry.
“While older people and their families recognize the value of professional caregivers, caregiving is still too often seen as low status work,” the report says. “A variety of factors contribute to this disrespect for caregiving, each making it difficult to recruit and retain qualified professionals… It is time that universally accepted ideas about caregiving match the changes in supply and demand. the demand – and the growing need for this work in society.