The population of senior citizens in the United States is rapidly growing. For the most part, this is a good thing. It means that life expectancy is going up, which is a general indicator that things like healthcare, diet, and lifestyle are improving. However, there are struggles that come along with a growing population of elderly individuals. The number of senior care professionals that are currently present is one of the major concerns that is being faced right now.
This manifests itself in a few different ways. For example, in the state of Michigan, there is a need for 32,000 more care professionals than there currently are. Experts in that state have observed that the numbers just aren’t going up, let alone at the rate that they need to be in order to meet this growing need. If trends continue like this, there might be people out there that need help with senior care that can’t get it. Care workers might be overworked and overextended, too.
This is not a problem for just Michigan, but a problem that is pervasive throughout the United States. Some places have a better handle on the situation than others, but it is a problem that is going to continue to grow in severity unless there are major protections put in place by law.
But for now, there are things that you can do to help protect your family and ensure that they have access to great senior care no matter what happens. The first is to educate yourself. Ask yourself a few of the following questions: What does the health of your elderly loved ones look like? What are they likely to need in the future to maintain a high quality of life? Are there things that you can do starting today to help improve their situation? These are not the only things you can ask, but they will get you ready for the future and help you to see what some of the potential issues and pitfalls might be as they age.
You should also think about getting some training as a caregiver yourself. The more you know and the greater your skill level is in this respect, the less you will need to rely on professional senior care. If this is the case, a care worker shortage will have very little impact on your family. You will be able to provide family care at a high level, allowing your loved one to remain independent and in their family home for longer. This doesn’t mean that senior care won’t ever be needed, but in many cases it will delay that need.
Alternative types of care might be helpful, too. For example, nursing homes are a great place for some seniors, but not all. However, they are often the go-to choice for many when they start their search. Utilizing services like in-home care can help you to relieve the pressure on nursing homes and find a high quality professional caregiver at a fraction of the price–all with more appropriate levels of care and interaction for your family.