Some so many older adults prefer to age in their home instead of any care center as long as possible. It is this fact that providing assistance to them is becoming increasingly difficult for home health care providers and their aides. However, this is certainly a major and important industry and means to help older citizens to stay in their home as they near the end of their life cycle.
Nevertheless, this is a specific industry that is often recognized more for the challenges that it has to overcome rather than how they empower people and families to live their lives in the best possible way.
When it comes to considering the challenges involved in providing in-home health care to elders ailing or not, there are three significant ones that come to the fore:
- The work is certainly not an easy one
- The pay is not great and
- There is a shortage of staffs.
The Main Challenges Of Elder In-Home Caregiving
It is also a pressing challenge for the families when they have to make arrangements for a stable and skillful service provider for senior home care Philadelphia. Being the consumers, everything simply comes down to the stability issue; it seems primary. However, there are other areas of concern for the consumers as well.
- It also requires a lot of flexibility and advocacy.
- It involves a lot of logistics, such as making sure the family has coverage when they require it.
It also involves making sure that the caregivers that they allow to work in their homes and stay with their loved ones are reliable, skillful and a good fit for the temperament of the patient suffering from any medical conditions as well. It is an ongoing process and not a one-time endeavor. What is even more worrying is the fact that when you have someone aging at home, the situation will never be better, but on the contrary, is likely to continue to get worse soon.
Drivers of shortage
It is a fact that there is a shortage of caregivers, and there are a few specific drivers of such caregiver shortage. There may be several health care agencies and franchises in the country, but that does not mean they have an adequate and skillful staff to provide such services.
- Experts cite several reasons for such a shortage, but the most significant driver for caregiver shortage seems to be the demographics. This is at present, the most significant pressure experienced by the home health care industry that is frantically looking for ways to keep up with the supply and demand of in-home care.
- Another significant reason is that most of the home health caregiving agencies are looking to make quick buck making the best use of the rising demand for home care and shortage of caregivers. They are not focused on caregiving but have simply sprung up to cash in on the boom.
- Lack of proper background for caregiving is another reason for such shortage. Since experience among caregivers is also short in supply, there is more demand for such caregivers. Most of them may have obtained the credentials necessary as there are lots of schools, certifications, and opportunities, but that does not entail experience, which only comes from the practical experience of caring for someone.
- Most of the caregivers can only make minimum wage, meaning that they are prone to burn out much faster.
- The competition in the home health care industry has also increased over the years that have made it all the more challenging for the home health care agencies to retain the excellent caregivers who are always looking for better opportunities, facilities and most importantly a higher pay. This generates turnover in the staffing pools in turn.
Lastly and perhaps most importantly, it the hard work that is required to look after the seniors that result in such shortage of caregivers. This is therefore not a long term career choice for the caregivers, and thus, the home health care agencies have to look out for frequent replacements of caregivers.
The toll it takes
The shortage in staffing also takes a toll on the service as well. There are lots of different pressures in this space, and therefore, the people who need the most may not have access to such care most, unfortunately.
- It is a challenge for the family to find the right caregiver to assist their aging loved one due to the shortage of staffs. Moreover, many families are reluctant to allow a stranger into their homes to assist their old ones. Finding a person who will be able to meet the needs of the patient as well as build a relationship is a very dynamic type of a situation.
- People are selective when it comes to choosing a caregiver, and therefore the home health caregiving agency has to make sure that they align with their needs when they do get to a situation where there can be a hire.
- A part of the challenge in caregiving also lies in its nature. Depending on the nature of the job, the time taken to build a strong and intense relationship will vary. It is time that will make both the caregiver and the care receiver comfortable with each other. Therefore, the caregiver has to make sure that the temperaments of both are in perfect alignment.
- Moreover, there is a chance of a good caregiver leaving the agency suddenly and in that case, the relationship built, and the emotional attachments seem to shatter like glass. This leads to an emotional blow to the older patient as well as the family who started to rely more on the caregiver. However, such situations where a caregiver has to move on looking for more than minimum wage and maybe for other economic reasons cannot be avoided.
Therefore, the shortage of the caregivers and the ever-growing need of in-home health care pose a challenge to all, the consumer, the family as well as the agency providing such services.