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Senior Caregiver Worker Shortage

Posted by Vanessa Vidal, FPC on 7/23/13 6:04 PM

There is a high demand from our seniors to “age in place," to be able to stay in their home as long as their health allows. They are adverse to moving to any kind of facility, such as a nursing home, retirement center or hospice, where skilled and professional care givers can take care of them.Senior walking

What happens now?  Our seniors often need assistance performing daily activities such as grocery shopping, taking a bath, or even changing their clothes.  It is not safe for them to stay by themselves, and their adult children aren’t available to help. The solution can be found in the old saying: "If the mountain won't come to Muhammad then Muhammad must go to the mountain …” This is precisely the plan! If the senior doesn’t want to move to where the senior care professionals are, then the senior care professionals must go to the senior.

Many families find this to be the perfect solution.  They hire a senior caregiver to come to the home and take care of their loved ones.  In some situations, the senior needs more than one employee.  Their daily activities require a caregiver with them for longer periods of time … some of them even need care around the clock.  This leads to another issue, the senior caregiver worker shortage!

Aging in place is gradually becoming a high demand scenario and while more families are willing to find someone to come to the senior’s home and take care of them, but the number of senior caregivers, as a profession, is not increasing sufficiently quickly to match this need. 

Being a senior caregiver requires special training and abilities.  They must know how to perform CPR, have First Aid training, and know the techniques to lift an adult without hurting the adult or themselves.  This training, both initially and when being renewed, can be costly and the caregivers cannot afford the cost.  This, along with low pay, inadequate benefits, and the physical and emotional implications associated with providing home care to elderly and disabled people, drives many home care providers into leaving the profession each year.  It is a concern that 20 years from now, we will be facing a considerable Senior Caregiver Worker Shortage.  This is something to think about … NOW.

Home care costs less and is preferred by many families; what can we do together to attract more and better caregivers to the profession?

Stay tuned for our future blogs regarding Senior Caregivers …

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Topics: elder care, senior caregivers, companionship services

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