“As the shift in dynamics of age grows, caregivers, aides, and nurses are in high demand in the U.S and beyond”
Since the end of World War II, a document increase in the amount of babies being born in the U.S was well known. These generational children were affectionately give the name “Baby Boomers”. The baby boomers were a generation that enjoyed economic prosperity living through the Vietnam war, and a series of monumental cultural dynamic shifts and changes.
Now well aged, these boomers are no longer babies, transitioning to becoming grandparents and great grandparents. With this shift in the population dynamics, this generation has reached a stage where they require caregivers, certified nurses, aides, Home Health agencies, and other providers of care. The alarming statistic indicates that the demand is seemingly significantly higher than the supply.
In the Alora Home Health Software blog, we recently spotlighted the challenge for Home Health Agencies to attract caregivers at competitive wages, with a great number of neighboring industries offering better hours, more lucrative benefits, and other perks. Now the focus is shifting to the question of how to keep the number of caregivers in the U.S interested in the career as a whole to meet the demands of the aging population.
According to an American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) report from a couple of years ago, statistically speaking, as this generation continues to age, the number of potential caregivers will steadily decline in unison. Based on 2010 data, there were as many as seven potential caregivers or nurses available for every person in the U.S aged 80 or older. By the year 2030, that number is expected to drop to a 4 to 1 ratio, with the math showing that by 2050, it will decrease again to a 3 to 1 ratio. Several theories exist to explain the reasons for this, inclusive of families getting smaller, with many households raising children who end up moving out of state, or even some older children requiring some form of homecare themselves.
“Smaller family sizes have created a high demand for CNA Certified caregivers,” a Northwestern official from a regional training center for home health aides and certified nurses stated. “Maybe they are already being taken care of by a single mom who also has to take care of her own children. Most caregivers are daughters who have grown up into young women, but more and more men are joining the caregiver and nursing workforce now due to the fact that they are the only children,” she added.
When an only child attempts to care for a relative or parent, with the additional task of trying to raise their own kids, the magnitude of the workload of double duty has the potential to cause an enormous amount of stress. Many caregivers leave the profession reporting burn out early on in their careers. This happens often times long before a patient is finished needing their care. Situations like these exacerbate the need for someone outside of the family to handle long term care planning for parents and loved ones. According to research, many of the larger facilities which provide long and short term care, are short on caregiving staff. These facilities need people that are already trained, and they also need people who are capable of training family members who are not in the profession to handle at least a portion of the many duties of care. With most students focused on doctorates or other more lucrative positions in the healthcare field, the number of caregivers are simply not being replenished fast enough.
While there are training centers which specialize in preparing students for a career in the caregiving field, the amount of training necessary for both the physiological and the emotional part of caregiving, prove overwhelming to staffs. This also affects both enrollment, and successful completion rates.
Once a singularly dominant force in shaping the age dynamics of the U.S, Baby Boomers have passed the age where a large percentage are in need of personal homecare or nursing services. It may require a dramatic shift in the industry’s compensation and education to ensure there will be enough caregivers to serve these patients.
The Alora Homecare Software Blog
Read the Alora blog to learn more about the Home Health Software industry, including recent news, articles and commentaries, as well as other issues that pertain to Homecare in the U.S and beyond. For more information on our blog, or for questions or feedback, please send us an email to HomeHealthSoftware@AloraHealth.com.