A recent article from the Associated Press and reported on Minnesota Public Radio describes the coming crisis in finding and keeping enough caregivers to meet the home care needs of aging baby boomers.
“Demand for home health care workers is soaring as baby boomers — the 78 million Americans born between 1946 and 1964 — get older and states try to save money by moving people out of more costly nursing homes. But filling more than 1 million new home care positions over the next decade will be a challenge.
The U.S. Labor Department projects that home health and personal care aides will be among the fastest-growing jobs over the next decade, adding 1.3 million positions and increasing at a rate higher than any other occupation. If those jobs can’t be filled, many older Americans are likely to face living with relatives or in nursing homes, which will only cost families and taxpayers more money.
Nearly half of all home care workers live at or below the poverty level, and many receive government benefits such as food stamps, unions and advocacy groups say. The median pay a year ago was $9.70 per hour — 4 cents less than fast-food workers and short-order cooks, according to the most recent statistics from the Labor Department.”
Prior to the collapse of the economy in the 4th quarter of 2008, the biggest challenge to growing a private duty home care business was the difficulty in finding enough caregivers. Leading Home Care and Private Duty Today responded to that issue by conducting research into recruiting and selection methods to help home care business owners find the people they need to grow their businesses. When the economy turned down, the staff shortage become less of a crisis.
As the economy picks up, we project that owners will see that same type of staff shortage. We’re already getting reports from clients and customers about the challenges they face.
If you do not have in place a process for effectively recruiting and selecting caregivers now, then you will have a real challenge growing your business next year when the economy rebounds. We encourage you to begin right now to review your people and processes for recruiting, selection, and retention. If you need assistance, visit Caregiver Quality Assurance (TM) for resources to help you grow your business.