Home Health Sees Growing Number of Senior Caregivers

A growing number of the nation’s senior caregivers are seniors themselves, according to a recent Associated Press article.

“As demand for senior services provided by nurses’ aides, home health aides and other such workers grows with the aging of baby boomers, so are those professions’ employment of other seniors,” says the article. “The new face of America’s network of caregivers is increasingly wrinkled.”

Nearly three in 10 (29%) of the overall population of direct-care workers are projected to be 55 or older by 2018, compared to 22% in 2008, according to a PHI (Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute) analysis cited in the article. 

“I think people are surprised that this workforce is as old as it is,” Abby Marquand, a researcher at PHI, told the AP. “There’s often people who have chronic disease themselves who have to muster up the energy to perform these really physically taxing caregiving needs.”

Around one-third of the workforce at Home Instead Senior Care, a national home care franchise, is older than 60, while in-home care provider Visiting Angels says around 30% of its workers are aged 50 or older. There’s also at least one network—called Seniors Helping Seniors—that’s modeled on hiring older caregivers, the AP reports.

“Like most occupations, some of the growth in older caregivers is driven by the overall aging of the population and the trend of people working later in life,” says the article. “But with incredibly high rates of turnover and a constant need for more workers, home care agencies have also shown a willingness to hire older people new to the field who have found a tough job market as they try to supplement their retirement income.”

Read the full Associated Press article

Written by Alyssa Gerace