In recent months, many media stories have presented stories about a lack of caregivers in the U.S. For families with aging parents, the thought of having a shortage of caregivers is worrisome. Is there really a shortage? The answer isn’t quite as simple as yes or no.
There Will Be Increased Need
The Bureau of Labor Statistics found that the need for caregivers between 2016 and 2026 will increase by more than 40 percent. In 2017, there were 2.1 million caregivers in the U.S. The median hourly wage was just over $11. Ten years earlier, the median pay was $10. The pay doesn’t match the cost of living in many states.
The reason for this increased need is that the number of senior citizens will increase. In 2017, there were 47.8 million senior citizens in the United States. The CDC’s National Population Projections found that by 2030, there will be 78 million seniors. That’s almost double. If the number of caregivers doesn’t also double, there will be shortages.
Another factor is the current immigration policies. Green cards rules are becoming more restrictive. Immigrants are not being allowed in as easily as in prior decades. Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute estimates that 14 percent of caregivers are not U.S. citizens. There is the chance those home care workers could end up leaving the U.S.
Is There Really a Shortage?
It’s hard to predict what will happen a year from now or a decade from now. Pay for home health aides may increase and draw more men and women to the job. Seniors are living longer. Improved health may reduce the number of seniors who need home care services.
It also depends on demand from state to state. Not every student can afford to go to college. Home care aides need a high school diploma. College is unnecessary. The agency that hires them provides free training to provide elder care. This will increase the number of qualified caregivers in some areas.
Openly Discuss Preferences for Elder Care Services and Get Prepared
The best way to prevent any delays is by arranging caregivers sooner rather than later. Have the discussion as early as possible. Your parents may not need caregivers now, but what about three months from now? There’s no way to be certain that health won’t change.
Once you know what your parents would want for home care now and in the future, make a call. Even if your parent only needs care for an hour or two each week, you’ll have established a relationship with a trained caregiver and can increase hours when the need arises.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering professional caregivers in Levittown, PA, talk to Unlimited Staffing Solutions. Specializing in Home and Community Based Support Waiver Services Since 2001. Please Call Us for Your Home Care Needs (215) 447-7133
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