Who Will Care For Us As We Age? New Research Raises Big Questions

New research from PHI, the nation’s authority on the direct-care workforce, sheds light on this critical segment of the U.S. workforce. Released in conjunction with Labor Day, which commemorates the contributions of the American worker, this new data illuminates the realities of direct-care workers. According to PHI, home care workers and nursing assistants in nursing homes fit a profile: the typical worker in these sectors is a woman, a person of color, and in her late 30s to mid-40s. Roughly a quarter of these workers are born outside of the United States and half lack formal education beyond high school. While the number of nursing assistants has remained intact over the past 10 years, at a little over 600,000, the home care workforce has more than doubled to 2.2 million people in that time period, reflective of the demand spurred by the “greying of America” and the current older generation’s desire to age at home. Yet 24 percent of home care workers and 17 percent of nursing assistants live in poverty. To survive, more than half of home care workers and nearly 40 percent of nursing assistants rely on some form of public assistance. These facts have repercussions for all of us: poor job quality turns away workers when we need it most. From 2014 to 2024, home care will add 633,000 new jobs, more than any other occupation. Unfortunately, labor force participation among women ages 25 to 64, who make up 73 percent of the home care workforce, will increase by only 2 million—a much smaller pool than the previous decade. Most alarming is that industry reports continually show high turnover rates among direct-care workers, often within a year, leaving for jobs with higher pay and better benefits.

Source/more: Huffington Post


David Wingate is an elder law attorney at the Elder Law Office of David Wingate, LLC. The elder law office services clients with powers of attorneys, living wills, Wills, Trusts, Medicaid and asset protection. The Elder Law office has locations in Frederick and Montgomery Counties, Maryland.

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