With aging older generations, improvements in care, and more accessibility to affordable medical insurance, the demand for home health aides is on on track to outpace every other job in the United States for the foreseeable future!
Home health care is an exploding industry due to the demand created through a confluence of two factors: the improved quality of healthcare is affording us a longer average lifespan and population growth. Currently it is the aging baby-boomer generation causing and elderly contributing the most to demand, but following generations will likely continue this trend.
Take into account that most older people would much rather have a healthcare professional come to their home and take care of their needs rather than uprooting themselves and moving into an assisted living facility and it's easy to see why this career has a predicted job growth rate of 40%, and is expected to continue rising as demand struggles to be met with willing and qualified home health professionals. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics is currently predicting an increase from 1.26 million home healthcare workers in 2014 to a whopping 2.02 million by 2024!
However, while this may be field with the highest growth among all jobs in the U.S., it takes a very special type of person to pick up the job and be successful. Before jumping head-first into becoming a home health aide, be sure you know yourself well enough to foresee whether this is the right career for you.
Home health care professionals work to ensure that clients who can no longer adequately take care of themselves are properly looked after by managing their daily lives for them. They take care of those who with debilitating illnesses, disabilities, or cognitive impairments that impeded on their daily lives.
They may provide basic health care services like checking temperatures and pulses, reapply bandages or dressings, give massages, help with artificial limbs and check respiration rates, but must defer to other healthcare professionals like qualified physicians for more serious issues.
Additionally, home health aides work to:
You guessed it! Home care aides work directly in the home of the clients that hire them while under the supervision of licensed medical professionals - usually nurses. Due to the nature of the position and reliance on government funding, home care and hospice agencies must adhere to established regulations.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, home health aide workplaces are divided as follows:
Less than they should be, in our opinion. Home care aides qualify as a low-skill position in the industry and come with the price tag to match. The national average salary for a home health worker as of May 2016 was only $22,500 but, with increasing demand, salaries are likely to increase moving forward. By how much, however, is not currently known.
According to the BLS, median annual wages differ based on the environment that the individual finds themselves working:
Home health aides and personal care assistants are increasingly becoming a more integral part of the U.S. healthcare system and, with this trend only projected to continue into the future, the salary and benefits they're offered should increase incrementally. However, in our opinion, this isn't happening fast enough.
Although the profession is of relatively low-skill in the healthcare industry, the staggering demand should be enough to raise incentives enough to attract qualified and professional home care professionals.