Which States Are Planning Ahead to Prevent a Crisis in Caregiving?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for elder care aides is increasing. In the next 10 years, they forecast a 41 percent increase in the number of workers needed. In 2016, there were more than 2.9 million jobs, and it’s expected to increase by more than 1.2 million within the next decade.
There are a few things that concern experts. One is that the median pay for elder care aides is just over $11 an hour, so it’s not a livable wage in many areas. As a result, the turnover rate is also high. Another problem is that upwards of 1 out of 3 elder care aides are immigrants. Some are now U.S. citizens, but around 10 percent are not and could return to their home countries and further reduce the workforce.
How worried should families be? Right now, organizations like PHI realize there is a potential issue looming. The non-profit is leading a push to improve the industry and stop a shortage from happening. Some states are also joining in and helping take measures to prevent a shortage.
Here are some of the states’ plans.
In 2017, Hawaii was the first state to pass a bill that would aid family caregivers. Family caregivers who also work a certain number of hours per week will receive a stipend of $70 a day to pay for elder care aides.
Maine tried to pass a bill in 2018 that would have levied a new tax on people with high incomes. The taxes would create a new fund to help families pay for elder care. It also would increase hourly wages for elder care aides and allow them to form a caregivers’ union to advocate for better job protections and benefits. The measure was voted down, however.
In Washington, four representatives proposed a bill that will levy a small tax to help set up a long-term care fund to help train and pay family members to offer some care for their parents. With a payment of $100 a day, family members can balance jobs with elder care services like respite care.
The federal government is also taking note. The RAISE Act is one measure. It is meant to help research options and find ways to offer grant money to help pay for care for seniors who want to age at home.
If your mom or dad needs care, you do have options. Family caregiving is a start, but the risk of caregiver burnout should prompt you to call an elder care agency to discuss respite care and part-time elder care options. Call us now.