Owner of Senior Helpers Boston and South Shore, Mark Friedman, Featured in CareAcademy Article
While home care continues to face staffing challenges, the demand for home care is on the rise. With an aging generation of baby boomers, the home care industry’s historic low wages, and the burnout that often comes with providing care, the struggle to find quality and long-term staff is rising alongside the demand.
We spoke with several home care executives about the future outlook of home care, the trends they’re noticing, and what they believe agencies need to prepare for to remain competitive. We’ve included their responses at the end of this blog. But first, let’s look at eight trends in home care.
1. Franchising of Home Care
In an unpredictable economy, individuals may be considering new career trajectories that prioritize community, security, and personal satisfaction — which home care can provide, especially with 10,000 baby boomers turning 65 each year.
With COVID-19-related operational challenges, those looking to open home care facilities will be in the market for experienced guides, which a franchise model can offer. Going into an industry with a roadmap for success will feel safer and more appealing than building a model independently — and potentially even more so for those looking to make a career change in the wake of the pandemic.
Franchise growth won’t be solely attributable to new owners in the market; we expect to see independent-to-franchise conversions, as well. In addition, due in part to the challenges of navigating Paycheck Protection Program loans and COVID-19, owners will start to look toward franchising their care homes to ease the burden of figuring out these details on their own.
2. Caregiver Shortage Continues to Surge Against a Rising Demand
The average pay of home care workers lands between $9 to $12 per hour, which isn’t much considering the cost of living in the United States. Caregiver shortages are surging, but low wages aren’t drawing many people to the profession to mitigate the issue.
Given the intimate nature of their jobs and constant exposure to multiple people, the coronavirus pandemic has highlighted just how critical home caregivers are and how risky the job can be. President Biden has recently laid out plans to increase the minimum wage to $15, almost double what it is currently in some states, which will force many agency operators to pay their workers significantly more.
3. Tech to Ease Rising Caregiver Demands
While no one appears to believe technology will replace human caregivers, technology such as apps, digital tools, and artificial intelligence is expected to significantly ease the demands placed on those in the profession. Mark H. Friedman of Senior Helpers Boston and South Shore says that technology could help caregivers in several capacities, such as remote monitoring, capturing vitals, medication reminders, and abnormality alerts.
With technology possibly easing the workload of caregivers, care agencies may be able to afford enough staff to meet the rising staffing demands of the industry.