Home care aides all over the US are AWOL. Care Management, home care agencies, nursing homes are severely understaffed and cannot find enough caregivers to staff cases for shifts. Why?
Disorganization of Home Care Industry
Staffing shortages have frustrated the home care and care management industry for
decades, according to Paula Hahn author of the New old Aging blog for the New York Times. . There is no national recruiting or training program for this huge industry.The home care industry has always been a hodgepodge of for-profit companies and chains, nonprofit programs and publicly funded care through Medicaid, all operating under a confusing welter of state and federal regulations, plus an uncharted “gray market” of clients who avoid agencies and hire privately. But Covid-19 has intensified the problem.
“I’ve never heard such frustration over finding workers, and I’ve been doing this for 20 years,” said Vicki Hoak, executive director of the Home Care Association of America, whose 4,000-member agencies collectively employ about 500,000 people.
Bureau of Labor Predicted this in 2020 -Pre-COVID
This was foreseen and was by the Bureau of Labor statistics. They predicted in 2020 that the long-term care sector would need to fill an additional 6.2 million direct care job openings between 2019 and 2029 as workers leave the field for a new occupation or leave the labor force altogether due to retirement, disability, or some other reasons. Combining these departures and new jobs, they projected a 7.4 million total direct care job openings in the decade ahead
Mammoth Growth in # of Seniors Who Want to Age
The bigger problem is the growing need for home care. Each day 10,000 seniors turn 65
in the US and the number of older adults will more than double over the next several decades to top 88 million people and represent over 20 percent of the population by 2050. . The majority want to age in their home and need home care, where today there are not enough home care workers to fill those jobs.
More $ Spent on Home Care than Nursing Homes
2015, was the first time nationally that more money was spent on home care than nursing home care. We’ve seen a culture and financing shift toward home and community-based care.”
Covid -19 now the Delta variant has wreaked more chaos into the home care market. Home care workers are mainly women and had to stay home with their children when school closed down. They were also hot hard by COVID themselves, working with seniors before a vaccine was developed.
Solutions to the National loss of caregivers
There are many other factors the loss of care providers and great solutions offered by Leading Age a national non profit for aging and home care.