Home Care Has Become Harder to Find

Author: judyjudy

Home Care Has Become Harder to Find

Relationships Wellness

The quest for quality home care has long been a challenge for older adults and their families, but the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated an already strained system. Staffing shortages, which have plagued the home care industry for years, have reached critical levels, leaving many older adults struggling to find the support they need to age comfortably and safely at home. Despite these challenges, there are resources and solutions available to navigate this complex landscape and ensure that older adults receive the care and support they deserve.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the home care industry experienced significant job losses of 342,000 workers last year, a stark contrast to the typical annual growth in employment in this sector. These losses were attributed to a variety of factors, including layoffs, resignations due to health concerns related to COVID-19, lack of childcare, and other challenges stemming from the pandemic. As a result, the already fragile home care workforce has been further strained, leaving many agencies struggling to meet the growing demand for services.

The impact of these staffing shortages is felt acutely by older adults and their families, many of whom rely on home care to maintain their independence and quality of life.
More than 800,000 older and disabled individuals who qualify for Medicaid are currently on state waiting lists for home care services, highlighting the urgent need for action to address this crisis. Additionally, agencies serving private-pay clients are facing unprecedented demand, forcing them to turn away potential clients due to staffing constraints.

Despite these challenges, there are resources and strategies available to help older adults and their families navigate the home care landscape:

  • Medicare.gov: Medicare.gov offers valuable information on home health care services covered by Medicare, including eligibility criteria and how to find a Medicare-certified home health agency in your area. Explore Medicare.gov
  • National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC): NAHC provides resources and advocacy for home care and hospice providers, including information on workforce development and policy initiatives aimed at addressing staffing shortages. Visit NAHC
  • Home Care Association of America (HCAOA): HCAOA is a leading trade association for the home care industry, offering resources and support for home care agencies and caregivers. Their website provides information on finding reputable home care providers and navigating the home care system. Explore HCAOA
    Family Caregiver Alliance (FCA): FCA offers support and resources for family caregivers, including information on home care options, caregiver support groups, and respite care services. Visit FCA
    Aging Life Care Association (ALCA): ALCA provides professional care management services for older adults and their families, including assistance with navigating the home care system, coordinating care services, and advocating for clients’ needs. Explore ALCA

By leveraging these resources and advocating for policy changes to address staffing shortages in the home care industry, older adults and their families can work together to ensure access to quality care and support. How have staffing shortages impacted your experience with home care? Join the discussion in our forum and share your insights and solutions. Together, let’s explore ways to improve access to home care for older adults in need.