The demand for home health aides is set to boom over the coming decade as “Baby Boomers” retire in massive numbers. Other factors including shorter hospital stays and improved home health care technology are allowing more care to take place inside of the patient’s home. For job seekers the home health care industry offers an excellent opportunity to join a growing field.
Baby Boomer Driving Demand for Home Health Aides
Over the next two decades seventy five million baby boomers will cross the 65 year age barrier into retirement. That equates to 10,000 baby boomers retiring every single day! That’s going to create a huge amount of demand for health care services and in particular home health aides.
This demographic shift is a long term trend. By 2050 the number of people over the age of 65 in the United States will have doubled. Baby boomers who are noted for their independence are expected to be reluctant to enter full time care facilities. They will likely try to live in their own homes for as long as possible. Enabling that independence will require a significant workforce of home health care workers.
The Wealthiest Generation in History
This seismic change isn’t expected to have a huge impact only because of the numbers of baby boomers retiring, but also because of their ability to pay for healthcare. While many baby boomers have not saved as much for retirement as they would like, this is still the richest generation in history. That means that many will be able to afford services like home health care so that they can maintain their independence for longer.
Baby Boomers Will Be Retired Longer
Baby boomers are expected to be in retirement longer than previous generations. The average life expectancy for a man who reaches 65 is 17.8 years. For women the life expectancy is 20.4 years. For many baby boomers they will require health aide assistance for a significant portion of that retirement. And as healthcare technology develops over the coming decades we can expect people to live even longer into retirement.
Cost Effective Alternative to Hospital Stays
Home health care is increasingly viewed as a cost effective alternative to in-care options. Home health care reduces the possibility of missed office visits and ensures that medical treatment is properly adhered to. It also addresses the social needs of the patient and allows them to live independently outside of a supervised environment.
Overall it provides a better quality of life for the patient while reducing the financial burden for hospitals and nursing homes. Medicare covers a wide range of home health care options. In 2011 3.4 million Americans received home health care treatment. The number of patients receiving treatment under Medicare will rise as baby boomers age.
Diverse Range Of Work
People who join the home health aide (HHA) industry can be expected to perform a diverse range of roles. This can include everything from helping with preparing meals, bathing, dressing, laundry and assisting with mobility. The wide range of tasks that need to be performed by home health aides means that demand for their services will be high. Unlike many industries, technology will have difficulty replacing most of these tasks and so the work is likely to remain labor intensive.
Entry Requirements Are Low
While demand for home health aides will continue to rise, so too will supply. One of the key reasons is the low entry requirements for joining the industry. In most parts of the United States not even a high school diploma is required to become a home health aide.
Another advantage of the home health aide care is the flexibility of the work. Home health aides can find shift work and part time hours. This can suit parents who may need a more flexible work schedule or who cannot work full time.
These factors are contributing to a large number of people joining the home health aide care industry. By 2020 the number of people working in the home health aide care industry is expected to reach 1.3 million which is a 70% rise since 2010, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The home health aide care industry will be a huge creator of jobs over the coming decades. For people looking to join a growing industry with few barriers to entry, becoming a home health aide may be one of their best choices. There are training centers all over the country.