In the U.S., there are 47.8 million people age 65 or older per 2015 estimates. That number is projected to reach more than 98 million in the next 20 years. Using the Bureau of Labor Statistics information, there were around 2.9 million professional elder care aides. The demand for these workers is expected to increase by 41 percent in the next decade.
Based on this statistical information, many do fear there could be a gap between the number of available caregivers and aging adults. In some areas, families are already finding there are wait lists when it comes to specialty care for elderly men and women with chronic health conditions like Alzheimer’s.
States and Cities Where There Are Already Issues
AARP did a study of professional elder care aides and family caregivers in New York City. In 2010, there were 6.6 caregivers for every senior age 80 or older. By 2030, it will drop to 4.8. By 2050, the number is expected to drop again to 3.5.
In Wisconsin, after a nursing home closed, families found it hard to find suitable alternatives for their parents. Those assisted living communities that were nearby couldn’t take new residents due to staffing shortages. A report showed that there are 16,500 job openings in assisted living alone.
Arizona’s warm year-round weather draws many retirees to the area. The state reports they’ll need around 41,000 workers in the next seven years to keep up with the demand for elder care services.
Why Is It Hard to Attract Workers?
Pay is one of the factors. The average hourly wage of an elder care aide is $11.50 an hour. While there are areas where the pay is higher, it’s often less than a livable wage. As a result, it’s hard to draw people to that industry.
Estimates are that 25 percent of professional caregivers are immigrants. As the government continues to crack down on immigrants entering the country, it’s believed this could lead to a decline in the number of workers willing to enter this field. Groups are trying to increase the pay in order to draw interest, but it’s a slow process.
Do you think it’s time to have some help for your mom and dad? Even if you think you can provide all the care your parents need, there will be times you need help. Vacations, sick days, and appointments can all make it hard to balance being a family caregiver with living your own life.
It’s best to start the search for elder care providers as early as you can. You need time to help your parents adjust and find the right caregivers for their needs. Call our elder care agency to talk about taking breaks and setting up care for your parents when you’re unable to.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Elder Care Services in Dover MA, or anywhere in Eastern Massachusetts, please call the caring staff at CARE Resolutions – (508) 906-5572.