The demand for ‘direct care’ through home care workers is predicted to increase in the near future. With this in mind, the main question becomes who will help the elderly that need help with their daily tasks such as their hygiene or being fed. Elders without children, or the ones with children in remote locations – have dramatically increased and demand for professional home care workers.
The 10 signs that the shortage of caregivers is getting worse –
- The rise in the percentage of elderly
With statistics from the Government, the occupations for the care givers are said to subsequently rise since the age of the elderly is also to be on the rise from 1.8% to 4.5% of the population. These people definitely require some long term care and not just for a day or so. Past settings included nursing homes as the basic preferred setting which now has shifted to a direct care setting.
- Most of the employees are women
89 % of the health care workers and around 91% of nursing assistants are women. According to research, this pool of women is predicted to decrease by 1.9 million workers. Thus, if this occupation sector cannot attract a more diverse array of employees, both male and female, a large section of the elderly people will be left uncared for.
- The lack of care takers in rural areas
Rural areas frequently suffer from a shortage of care givers. Owing to the long distances, the workers have to travel more and the lack of health care facilities in those areas and resources in health care compound their problems. The elasticity of the modes and the frequency of travel in the urban areas as compared to that of the rural areas is another such problem. This leads to a difference in the percentage of care givers across different states.
Finding the solutions –
The above mentioned shifts have definitely affected American families and if not yet fully recognized, the day is not too far away. Each day there is a population of around 10,000 people turning 65 and as mentioned above, it is likely to increase in the future as well. This rise will probably increase in the next few years.
- Adopting a family-friendly work environment
As most of the care givers work outside of their home, many of them full-time, it is necessary to create a suitable environment for them as well (in the house of the employer). One should not forget that the workers also have loved ones back at their own homes. So, taking measures, such as a friendly environment or paid leaves would be very helpful.
- Improving the quality of the job
Quality care can only be obtained through quality jobs. A low value for their services would certainly not inspire a lot of people to go for these jobs. The income of the care givers should be a decent one, to assure that they can support themselves and their families. With such measures being taken to ensure a healthy industry and available services, the trained workers will be more able to take care of the physical and emotional needs of the elderly.