About Me

Sue Haglind, a resident of Lakeville, MN, is the executive director at Genetic Health Rx and a private duty personal care assistant. One of the things she has noticed in her career that has her concerned is that the overall demand for home health aides and personal care assistants is increasing, yet interest in this type of employment is not increasing.

Overall employment demand for home health and personal care aides is projected to grow 40 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. In addition, as the baby-boom generation ages and the elderly population grows, the demand for home health aides and personal care aides will continue to increase. Read on to learn more about this exciting topic.

Why Is Demand for Home Health Aides Increasing?

Demand for home health aides is increasing for two reasons. The aging population is the first reason the demand for home health aids is increasing. As baby boomers start aging, there is a demand for people to take care of them. Baby boomers are reaching the age where they are more prone to illness or injury, and when this happens, they may find themselves needing a little extra help to stay at home. This is where home health aides come into play.

However, an aging population is not the only reason for more demand for home health aides. The second reason there is more demand for home health aides is that more people are walking away from this field than ever before. People currently working in this field feel like they are being overworked and underpaid. There were also a lot of health concerns with Covid-19 and many work restrictions that made working in this industry tough. Unfortunately, this caused many people working in this industry to walk away, which helped to create a more significant gap between the number of home health aides and the number of people in need of a home health aide.

What Will Happen If There Are Not Enough Home Health Aides?

Some significant problems may come to fruition if the number of trained home health aides does not increase to meet the demand for home health aides. One of the biggest concerns is that there will not be enough home health aides, forcing people out of their homes and into short-term or long-term care facilities. In theory, this may not sound bad, but the number of care facilities available may not be able to accommodate the number of people who may be forced out of their homes and into these care facilities. This can present a considerable problem, as ultimately, there may be no place for individuals to go who need help. In addition, this can create a significant burden on hospitals.

Another major problem brewing due to the lack of home health aides is seniors preceding the care they need. Live-in facilities can be pricey, and home health aides can be cheaper. If not enough home health aides are available, some seniors may stay home and forego getting the care they need. This can lead to an increase in illness or injury to the aging senior population. Once again, this can create a significant burden on hospitals or shorten the lifespan of lower-income seniors.

How Can Companies Attract People to Work in the Home Health Aide Industry?

To solve the problem of a lack of home health aides in the industry, changes need to be made to attract more people to work in this field. One of the first things that need to happen is that employees must be paid better. Home health aides have a tough job. They are essentially caring for an aging individual. They may work long hours and do a lot of physical labor. This can take a toll on the mind and the body. Therefore, increasing wages in this industry is necessary, as wages are falling behind.

Another thing that needs to happen is training and recruitment programs. Young individuals from high school or college do not usually think about working in this industry because they do not know much about it. Suppose younger individuals knew there was such a high demand for home health aides and could easily find employers who would train them to do the job. In that case, you could quickly increase the number of available people interested in working in the home health aide industry.

Lastly, companies need to address the high turnover rates in the industry.

They need to sit down with former and current employees and find out what can be done to help improve employee satisfaction and to retain employees. For example, employees may need more emotional or mental support from their employers, they may need higher pay or more bonuses, or they may need to limit the number of hours they work per week. Addressing high turnover can help to stop those in the industry from leaving as quickly as they do.

Sue Haglind works as a private duty personal care assistant, so she knows how challenging this type of work can be. However, she also knows how rewarding it can be. When an individual can help another individual live within their own home and get the home health care that they need, it benefits the party that assists them, the party that is being assisted, and helps to keep individuals out of hospitals and retirement communities. Unfortunately, while demand for home health aides is increasing, there is currently insufficient supply. However, Ms. Haglind hopes that as more people continue to speak out about this issue, it will raise awareness, and more people will want to get into the field and earn a living within this field.


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