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The Future of Caregiving

Photo Credit: AARP

It is an exciting time to be in the caregiving field! Finally, in-home care is now being viewed as a solution for caring for our aging population and not just a haphazard job that doesn’t require any skill.

In-home care is essential, and people of the “sandwich generation” are finally realizing it. While adults in their 40’s and 50’s are caring for their children still at home, they are often tasked with the care of their aging parents, too. This is bringing a whole new light to the future of caregiving, and as professionals in the field, it’s important to keep up with the changes that will be occurring.

Longer life expectancy

According to Aging.com, seniors are expected to take up over 20 percent of the population by the year 2030. Not only is the elderly population growing, but it is reported that life expectancy will continue to grow as well. In the year 1900, only 100,000 Americans lived to be over the age of 85. By the year 2050, it is expected that 5 percent of the total population will be over 85. The increase in the elder population will mean an increase in the need for elder care. Additionally, the increased life expectancy means the care will be needed for longer.

Trends

The NY Times shares that care providers such as companion caregivers, home health aides, and personal care attendants are expected to be among the nation’s fastest-growing occupations. The Department of Labor’s employment projections estimates that about a million more will be added from 2014-2024. With the added demand for caregiving, many hope that the government will include a broader spectrum of care options under the guidelines for Medicare, perhaps making home assistance eligible for coverage. As mentioned in our blog – How to Pay for In-home Care, many in-home care services are not currently covered by Medicare.  

Technology

Voice technology was being introduced into mainstream households at the start of 2017, and the trend is set to continue throughout this year. Voice technology is being used to allow clients to self-report health metrics and to combat the feelings of loneliness by interacting with “Alexa” or “Echo.” Some healthcare providers are using new “telemedicine” technology to monitor patient care. Since it is expected that as our homes get “smarter,” Congress and federal regulatory agencies will be exploring ways to make telehealth more accessible. This may make it easier for home caregivers to help their clients manage appointments and communication between family members and doctors.  

We believe that with change, comes an opportunity to embrace the future and adapt to new ways of caring for the aging. Given that the future of home care is changing, we at Shepherd’s Staff In-home Care will keep up with the trends and advancements in the industry, which will allow us to help clients stay safely in their homes, while their families have the peace of mind knowing their loved ones are receiving the attention they need when a family member cannot be there.

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