To accommodate a growing need for professional caregivers, many home care companies are hiring seniors to care for their clients. It’s a win-win situation for all parties. Seniors often enter the profession to supplement their retirement income and come armed with a wealth of experience having already cared for an elderly loved one. Also, seniors can better relate to the needs of their senior clients.
Among the overall population of direct-care workers, 29 percent are projected to be 55 or older by 2018, up from 22 percent a decade earlier, according to an analysis by the Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute, or PHI, a New York-based nonprofit advocating for workers caring for the country’s elderly and disabled. In some segments of the workforce, including personal and home care aides, those 55 and older are the largest single age demographic, according to an article in the Detroit Free Press.
“I think people are surprised that this workforce is as old as it is,” Abby Marquand, a researcher at PHI, told the publication. “There’s often people who have chronic disease themselves who have to muster up the energy to perform these really physically taxing caregiving needs.”
The publication cited the example of a 92-year-old Alzheimer’s patient who has a 74-year-old caregiver. According to the article, the caregiver was inspired to join the profession after caring for his elderly mother-in-law who had dementia.
Read the Detroit Free Press article.