Higher wages are needed to sustain a viable home-care workforce, especially as demand for home services continues to grow with an aging population, home-care worker advocates have argued. A new study has just been published. Here’s the report (PDF), which demonstrates just how serious the wage issue is for home-care workers and those they serve.
An article in the February 18, 2015 edition of Modern Healthcare says we’re going to have a burgeoning number of Baby Boomers who’ll need home care. Most of them will unfortunately, be financially unprepared for long-term care. The article states, “Projections have estimated the number of Americans age 65 and older will more than double, from 40 million in 2010 to 88 million by 2050, according to HHS.”
Quoting again, because home care providers are currently paid such low (and actually declining) wages, “Three out of five of the country’s 2 million home-care aides rely on some type of public assistance through programs such as Medicaid, food stamps or help paying for housing and utilities.”
“The average hourly wage for home-care workers is around $9.61, for an annual median income of $13,000, just above the individual federal poverty level of $11,770.”
“Low pay, scarce worker benefits and limited opportunities for advancement have contributed to an annual turnover rate of 50% among home-care workers.”
The study proves that poverty that poverty wages undermine quality of care.
If you want a to stack the odds in favor of a high dignity, caring, nurturing outcome if you need long-term care, you will need to pay caregivers a living wage. The only way, for most middle-to-upper-class Americans to do this is by owning long-term care insurance (LTCi).