26 Jan Non-Medical In-Home Care Trends in 2023
Post-pandemic Trends in Non-medical Home Care To Watch in 2023
What does the future look like for home care?
The past few years have changed the industry. A look at the post-pandemic trends in home care reveals that companies are facing new challenges, along with old problems that have evolved.
Personal care, homemaker, and companionship services face unique struggles. Here’s a look at the trends we’ve seen in non-medical, in-home care — and how companies can take advantage of these trends heading into a new year.
What are the biggest post-pandemic trends in non-medical In-home Care in 2023?
As we begin a new year, the top trending issues with regard to non-medical homecare are as follows:
- Industry & revenue growth
- Persistent staffing challenges
- Need for homemaker and companion services
- Rising operational costs
- More training for caregivers
- The growing use of digital tools and technologies
1. Industry & revenue growth
One of the most promising post-pandemic trends in home care has been industry and revenue growth. Despite the ups and downs many agencies saw in 2020–2021, service demand continues to increase. Expect continued growth.
The population continues to age, and chronic diseases remain on the rise. These factors continue to drive industry expansion since home care services support both demographics.
2. Persistent staffing challenges
Inadequate staffing to meet the long-term care needs of Baby Boomers has been a concern for decades. Yet, the problem is worsening. By 2030, all boomers will reach 65 years old.
With the “2030 Problem” nearly upon us, there aren’t enough friends and family to care for aging Americans. A recent story in the Washington Post laments that seniors are “stuck alone, as caregivers flee for higher-paying jobs.”
Staffing is always a concern for business owners. Worker shortages limit company growth.
In home care, it’s particularly troubling because the lack of home care workers impacts access to care. In many communities, seniors go without the help they need.
Recruitment and retention are top of mind for most agency owners and leaders—and will stay there for the foreseeable future.
3. Need for homemaker and companion services
Another industry trend has been a growing need for homemaker and companion services. Now we realize the importance of companionship and social interaction for those with disabilities and seniors.
Older adults were disproportionately affected by the spread of coronavirus. In many cases, they experienced the following:
- More serious complications and higher death rates
- Increased stress and worry over their normal routines
- Greater difficulty adapting to digital technologies, including virtual doctors visits
- Loneliness and isolation due to lockdowns
Among seniors, social isolation is associated with an increased risk of dementia and death.
Homemaker and companion care services alleviate loneliness, improving quality of life and overall health. As a result, home care companies have seen an increased demand for companionship services because physicians, families, and friends are also more aware of clients’ mental needs.
4. Rising operational costs
One of the most obvious post-pandemic trends in home care is increased costs. The cost of care is rising. The trend began with the need for increased training, stockpiling personal protective equipment (PPE), and developing infection control protocols amid the pandemic. It has persisted, thanks in part to inflation and staffing costs.
High turnover and the shortage of professional caregivers have led home care companies to raise pay rates and offer incentives. Research shows that the cost of home health aide services grew by 12.5% in 2021. Meanwhile, homemaker expenses rose by 10.64%.
Thankfully, many experts expect expenses to stabilize in the year ahead.
5. More training for caregivers
Well-defined training programs develop workers who are engaged and committed to their roles. Post-pandemic home care businesses have realized the value of specialized training.
According to an industry survey, the number one complaint from home care workers in 2021 was their company’s training process. Meanwhile, many agencies struggle to get employees to “buy in” to the organizational vision and mission. The solution to both problems is more training for home care workers.
Offering training ladders and career opportunities improve company culture–which translates to better care and greater client satisfaction.
Research also shows that upskilling workers leads to better recruiting and retention. In fact, 93% of CEOs who introduce programs to teach new skills see increased productivity, greater acquisition and retention, and a more resilient workforce. Investing in people pays off.
6. The growing use of digital tools and technologies
Technology like EVV systems, home health software, agency management solutions, and other emerging tech, has become a priority in healthcare. And home care agencies are increasingly looking to digital tools to meet current challenges–and continue to grow. Eliminating paper and manual processes increases security and efficiency. With the right digital tools, processes from intake to scheduling and billing to payroll can be streamlined.
The right technology helps administrative staff and direct care workers, too. The right software helps caregivers stay organized. It also helps them stay in compliance. Electronic notes can be a time-saver, meaning companies can bill and get paid on time.
Digital tools and technologies also help owners generate reports to manage day-to-day operations and stay on top of client and agency needs.
In the wake of the pandemic, many home care companies are looking for and switching to the right tech solutions to help them work smarter and not harder.
Next Steps for Agency Owners and Leaders
There are actions that home care companies can take now to leverage these post-pandemic trends in home care during the coming year. Here are a few ideas to guide your strategies in 2023.
- Recruitment and retention must be top of mind. Consider how you can stay competitive and be the employer of choice for professional caregivers in your area.
- Homemaker and companion care services are in demand. If you don’t already offer them, it may be time to expand your service lines.
- Training ladders and upskilling workers help increase retention, support recruiting, and improve company culture–which translates to better care and greater client satisfaction. Take a look at your training program and decide if it’s time for minor updates or a major overhaul.
- Technology has become a priority in many healthcare companies. Don’t get left behind. Look at your current workflows to decide if you’re using the right digital tools to help you work smarter than the competition.
The post-pandemic trends in home care point to a bright future for non-medical, in-home care services despite challenges from the past few years. Home care companies that continue to invest in people and technology will thrive in the post-pandemic era of healthcare.
Alora provides agencies with a complete solution for home health agency workflow. Comprehensive and effective software technology sits at the center of successful home health care operations. Alora works hard to make caregiver and admin friendly, simple to use software affordable and accessible for agencies of all sizes.