Low-wage home care jobs comprise the fastest-growing sector in the nation at a current count of two million and an expected surge of 50% between 2012 and 2022, according a recent analysis by the Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute.
The rate of growth represents nearly five times the growth anticipated across all other occupations in the nation, PHI said in a report this week.
This rising demand is changing the nature of the workforce for direct care, as the majority of direct-care workers now work in home and community-based settings but are expected to soon outnumber those working in facilities by a measure of two to one.
But pay and quality of work are not equal among those who work in facilities versus homes or communities, PHI stresses in its research findings. While personal care and home health aide jobs are among the fastest growing, they are poorer quality jobs and receive lower wager than their facility-based counterparts.
“The demand for in-home services and supports is growing dramatically as baby boomers age and more people living with chronic health problems and disabilities prefer to receive care at home,” said Abby Marquand, PHI associate director of policy research, who conducted the analysis. “To meet our nation’s increasing need for an adequate and stable home care workforce, we must invest in improving the quality of home care jobs.”
Written by Elizabeth Ecker