The demand for home care has skyrocketed since the pandemic, with no signs of slowing down. See current home care industry trends taking on the post-pandemic world.
1. Growing Demand For Home Health Care
More seniors require some long-term care. The Economic Policy Institute (EPI) finds that 70% of people who reach 65 years of age will need long-term care. Furthermore, the number of people in that age group will be 44% greater, or 25 million people, by 2040.
On top of that, people are looking to stay in their homes for as long as possible. AARP notes that more than 80% of adults prefer to live in their homes instead of nursing homes or other institutional settings. So that’s making families turn to home health care agencies to care for their aging loved ones. Dustin Distefano, CEO of home care franchise A Place At Home, talked with CareAcademy about this issue. He’s seeing assisted living and memory care communities that used to have waiting lists are now at 70% to 80% occupancy, while home care agencies have waiting lists.
2. Caregiver Shortage to Continue
The number of caregivers in the U.S. doesn’t meet the growing demand for home health care services. In June, American Health Care Association (AHCA) and its National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL) found that 73% of nursing homes are concerned they’ll have to close due to staffing issues. That same report shows that more than half of nursing homes are limiting the number of residents due to staffing woes. This is leading families to turn to home health care agencies for help.
Unfortunately, experts say the lack of caregivers will continue as a home care industry trend over the next year. According to EPI, 1 million additional home health care workers are needed by 2029 to meet the growing demand for home health care.
Reports show that pay and training are the primary areas that employers should address to encourage more people to enter the field. In 2021, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the median annual wage for home health aides was $29,430 a year. That comes to $14.14 an hour if the aides work 40-hour weeks. Workers say they want more training opportunities to earn a better wage and perform more specialized skills to help their clients.
It’s essential for business owners in this industry to address this trend and what their employees are asking for if they want to retain staff.
3. Need for Companionship Care Rising
More than one-third of adults at least 45 years or older feel lonely, according to a National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) report. Loneliness comes with several health risks, including dementia and an increased risk of heart disease or stroke. It’s also associated with higher depression, anxiety, and suicide rates. Hence, many families are turning to companionship care to ensure their loved ones don’t undergo any of these hardships.
Some home health care franchises, including A Place At Home, have already noticed this trend. Our in-home non-medical services include companion care. That can look like enjoying the senior’s favorite hobbies, having stimulating conversations, socializing, opening and sorting mail, and teaching seniors to use email and social media.
4. Use of Technology to Monitor Patients
Another trend that could keep you competitive in the home care industry is the use of technology. The pandemic showed us we could stay connected without meeting face to face, including through telehealth in the medical world. The downfall with telehealth appointments is that they don’t allow medical providers to collect vital signs like blood pressure and oxygen levels. New technology like remote patient monitoring (RPM) can solve this problem. It works by having patients collect their vital signs and submitting them so medical professionals can analyze the data. They would typically do this throughout the day.
This technology is expected to help lower the costs of medical care for seniors by reducing their hospitalizations. About 85% of older Americans suffer from at least one chronic health issue like diabetes, asthma, heart disease, and COPD. Through monitoring vitals with RPM, medical providers can help manage chronic illnesses from afar and help them avoid any costly downturns. In addition, medical providers will turn to home health caregivers to assist with this monitoring.
Take On These Trends With A Place At Home
As you can see, the home care industry is trending upward. Get a head start in it by joining a franchise like A Place At Home. You’ll help meet the growing demands of this industry and provide much-needed care to the senior community when you become a franchise owner. We offer multiple revenue stream opportunities, including helping staff agencies in your community solve labor shortages through staffing services. Take the next steps of owning a home care business by submitting a franchise form.