In-Home Caregiver Shortages Causing Issues For Seniors And Their Families

As the baby-boomer generation continues to age, the shortage of in-home care professionals is stretching to the breaking point. There are not enough senior assisted living facilities with affordable price points, and most baby-boomers don’t want to leave their homes anyway. This leaves few options. Some families have at least one offspring that has the resources, patience, knowledge and time to care for their elderly parents, but that’s not always the case. What about smaller families? The chances are slim to none.

Many baby-boomers have amassed a nice nest egg for their later years, and will hire an in-home caregiver. Some don’t have the capacity to understand how to deal with these challenges, how to go about seeking assistance, and thus, their kids are left with the challenges; finding a reputable agency, and trying to get a fair and reasonable price for caregiver services.

Recently, there was an article in the WSJ titled: “US Running Out of Caregivers – Smaller, more far-flung families mean fewer unpaid helpers; Are you really my daughter?” by Clare Ansberry, published on July 21, 2018. The article noted many unfortunate converging trends such as the number of single people over 70 with no spouse to take care of them were anything to happen. Also, fewer choices for long-term care insurance as some companies have stopped providing such insurance coverage. Another problem is the percentage of our population challenged by obesity, deteriorating health. Dementia numbers are also on the rise.

Baby-Boomers and the next generation coming up have had fewer kids, therefore narrowing the possibility that one of the offspring can stop their lives to care for their elderly parents.

Within 10-years there could be a 13% increase in the number of caregivers – that’s the good news – but there will be an 84% increase in the number of people above age 65. Worse, the estimated number of people with Alzheimer’s is projected to increase 150% by 2030, provided no cure is found. The demographics do not lie here.

Okay so, what happens with there is a shortage of anything? Supply and Demand 101 dictates that prices will go up. If the cost of nurses and facilities to house seniors go up – there will be a larger demand for paid in-home caregivers. Who will fill this vacuum as shortages increase? Well, perhaps anyone who wants a job and that brings me to my final point.

How do you know you are getting a qualified caregiver or care professional? Best to hire an agency that does solid background checks, and knows what to look for, otherwise, this challenge of caring for a love one could get a lot bigger. Think on this.