Home Health Care Aides Needed Now More than Ever

The need for home health aides in the U.S. has never been more apparent. For a variety of reasons including increased American life expectancy and the constantly growing elderly population, there will continue to be a greater need for home health care workers than ever before. Recent statistics show that New York State has responded to this need with an unprecedented boom in-home health employment.

To understand the need for more home health aides it is important to point out the value of home health care and the tremendous impact a home health aide can have on a patient, especially an elderly one.

Home Care Saves the State

One aspect of healthcare that is positively impacted by home health care is the roughly $40 billion annual cost to the U.S. healthcare system from hospital readmissions. A 2017 study by the Cleveland Clinic published in the American Journal of Medicine found that patients who receive home health care after a hospital discharge save the healthcare system about $6,500 throughout the course of a year. Those patients who received home health care also displayed a decreased rate of rehospitalization during that year.

“This important study clearly demonstrates that home health care has significant dynamic value in controlling care costs and achieving better patient outcomes,” said William A. Dombi, President of the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC). “The study proves that a strong investment in the expanded use of home health care by Medicare, Medicaid, and other payment programs would save billions in unnecessary health care spending.”

Improved Health Outcomes

A 2014 Study by The Alliance for Home Health Quality & Innovation found that after receiving home health care, 89% of wounds improved or healed after an operation, 67% of patients had less pain associated with mobility, 66% improved their bathing habits, and 64% had an easier time breathing.

Studies such as these are just a few examples of the cost savings and patient improvement provided by home health care. The other aspect that further illustrates the burgeoning need for home health aides is the growth of the elderly population in the U.S.

Continued Increase of Baby Boomer Population

The aging of the baby boomer population will continue to have a staggering impact on population statistics according to the U.S. Census Bureau. By 2030 all baby boomers will be older than age 65, which will expand the elderly population to a point where 1 in 5 Americans will be retirement age. By 2050, there will be nearly double the population of people over 65 than there is currently, rising from 47.8 million to 88 million.

“The aging of baby boomers means that within just a couple decades, older people are projected to outnumber children for the first time in U.S. history,” said Jonathan Vespa, a demographer with the U.S. Census Bureau.

With the ever-growing elderly population coupled with the cost savings and health benefits to patients of home health care, the importance of home health aides is clear. To meet consumer demand, an estimated 778,000 personal care aides and 431,000 home health aides will need to enter the workforce throughout the next decade. Home health aides and personal care aides rank third and fourth as the fastest-growing occupations in America according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. New York State has established itself as a leader in this regard, as home care positions have become a major component of job growth in New York.

Home Care Jobs in New York

According to a recent report from the New York City Independent Budget Office, home care accounted for two out of every five new private-sector jobs in New York in 2017. That ratio grew to two out of three in 2018. New York outpaced the rest of the country with 27,100 new home health jobs compared to just 24,300 nationwide. This figure not only includes home care jobs from traditional home care agencies but also CDPAP caregivers.

Contributor to Job Growth in New York State

“CDPAP has helped fill a gap in areas where aide shortages exist or to fulfill unmet needs in providing care to special populations … driving some of the growth,” Roger Noyes, spokesman for the Home Care Association of New York State, told Home Health Care News in an email.

Burd Home Health has provided over 750 home health workers to this crucial workforce since 2017.

More information on Burd Home Health and self directed programs they offer can be found at https://www.burdhomehealth.com/.

Sources

(1) Famakinwa, Joyce. “Two-Thirds of NY's Private-Sector Job Creation in 2018 Linked to Home Care.” Home Health Care News, Home Health Care News, 15 May 2019, homehealthcarenews.com/2019/05/two-thirds-of-nys-private-sector-job-creation-in-2018-linked-to-home-care/.

(2) “Study Shows Significant Cost Savings of Home Health Care.” HomeCare Magazine, 7 Dec. 2017, www.homecaremag.com/news/study-shows-significant-cost-savings-home-health-care.

(3) Meola, Andrew. “The Aging Population in the US Is Causing Problems for Our Healthcare Costs.” Business Insider, Business Insider, 18 July 2019, www.businessinsider.com/aging-population-healthcare.

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